I’m in love with celeriac. I think it’s hugely underrated because of its (let’s face it, darn ugly) appearance. But we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, because under its gnarled, twisted exterior, the celeriac tastes really, really good. It has a subtle celery-like flavour and a delicate, sweet, nuttiness. However, the real magic is how it transforms the texture of many dishes, because celeriac becomes beautifully creamy and velvety when cooked. That’s why it’s the perfect ingredient to make a truly rich vegan risotto that’s just as creamy and smooth as any traditional risotto, but without any of the butter or parmesan.
I also used celeriac to make this awesome celeriac soup recipe which is incredibly rich, creamy and smooth too!
I served my vegan celeriac risotto with asparagus because it’s in season right now and it’s so fresh and incredibly flavoursome at this time of year, but it would go brilliantly with loads of other vegetables - try stirring through some wilted spinach, wild garlic leaves, or purple-sprouting broccoli, or try topping your risotto with pea shoots, kale crisps, or even some roasted beetroot for a dash of colour.
Vegan Creamy Celeriac Risotto Recipe
Ingredients (serves 4):
1/2 cup cashew nuts
1 bunch asparagus
1 cup frozen green peas
1 medium celeriac (approx 600g)
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 large leeks, finely sliced
5 cloves garlic, minced
4 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1 cup risotto rice (e.g. arborio)
100ml white wine
2 litres vegan stock
1 handful fresh basil leaves
Start by preparing your ingredients: soak your cashew nuts - pour boiling water over them and leave for at least 30 minutes (or you can soak them in cold water for a few hours); blanch the asparagus in boiling water for just 2-3 minutes until it’s tender but still crisp and colourful; chop the stalks ready to add to the risotto and keep the tips to use as a garnish; take out the peas to thaw.
Peel the celeriac (you can slice the skin off with a knife if using a peeler is difficult) and cut roughly into 1-inch chunks. Place in a bowl of cold water to prevent it colouring.
Heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a saucepan over a low heat and gently fry one of the leeks and 3 cloves of the garlic for 10 minutes, or until soft. Turn up the heat, add the cubed celeriac and 2 cups of the vegan stock, and simmer for 10-15 minutes until the celeriac is nice and soft.
Tip the contents of the pan (leek, garlic, celeriac and the stock) to a high-speed blender and also add the soaked cashews, nutritional yeast, and season with salt and pepper. Blitz until completely smooth.
Now heat the other 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan over a low heat. Add the remaining leek and garlic and gently saute for 10 minutes until soft. Turn the heat up to high and add the risotto rice (don’t wash the rice first, it’s best to keep the starches to help create the best creamy texture). Fry the rice for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the white wine and simmer until the wine has nearly completely evaporated.
Now add 1 ladle of the vegan stock. Turn the heat back down to simmer so the rice doesn’t cook too quickly. Keep adding single ladlefuls of stock and stirring frequently, and allowing each ladleful of stock to be absorbed before adding the next. Repeat this process until the rice is al dente - i.e. soft, but with a slight bite.
Now stir through the smooth celeriac mixture, green peas, and chopped asparagus stalks, and cook for a further few minutes. The risotto should have a soupy texture so if it’s too thick then add another ladle of stock.
Garnish with the asparagus tips, fresh basil leaves, and a good crack of black pepper. Eat immediately while the risotto retains its beautiful creamy texture.
Nutrition (per serving):
Protein: 16.9g (Women: 33.8% / Men: 30.7%)
Iron: 7.8mg (Women: 52.7% / Men: 89.7%)
Calories: 510 (Women: 25.5% / Men: 20.4%)
Sugar: 9.6g (Women: 10.7% / Men: 8.0%)
Total Fats: 16.3g (Women: 23.3% / Men: 17.2%)
Saturated Fat: 2.7g (Women: 13.5% / Men: 9.0%)
Salt: 0.6g (Women: 10.0% / Men: 10.0%)
Fibre: 10.3g (Women: 34.3% / Men: 34.3%)
See the Nutrition Info page for more details on % of Dietary Reference Values for men and women.