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Roasted and pickled celeriac with sweet chilli dressing

Side Veganisable
Serves 2 as a main, 4 as a side
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This dish features celeriac in two very different ways – slow-roasted and pickled – giving it textural contrast and flavour complexity which enables it to take centre stage in a vegetable feast. You can make the dressing a day ahead, but don’t mix in the fried chilli and garlic until you’re ready to serve. You’ll make more pickle than you need, but it keeps in the fridge for 3 days and is great stuffed into sandwiches and toasties or tossed through a salad.


1 whole roasted celeriac, cut into 8 wedges (see opposite)
2 spring onions, finely sliced at an angle, to serve
5g picked thai basil leaves, to serve
flaked sea salt
1 medium celeriac, trimmed, peeled and cut into thin, 6cm-long batons (500g)
3 celery sticks, cut into thin 6cm-long batons (120g)
2 garlic cloves, skin on and crushed with the side of a knife
3 limes: finely shave the skin to get 6 strips, then juice to get 60ml
150ml rice vinegar
120ml sunflower oil
5 garlic cloves, very finely sliced
3 red chillies, finely sliced into rounds (30g)
whole star anise
1½ tbsp white or black sesame seeds, or a mixture of both, well toasted
2½ tbsp  maple syrup
1 tbsp rice vinegar
60ml soy sauce
2 tbsp chives, finely chopped


  1. Combine all the ingredients for the pickled celeriac with 20g flaked salt in a large bowl and set aside for at least 2 hours, stirring now and then, while you prepare the rest of the dish. You can make this up to 3 days ahead and keep it refrigerated.
  2. Heat the sunflower oil for the sweet chilli dressing in a small saucepan on a medium-high heat. Once very hot, add the garlic, chillies and star anise and fry for 2–2½ minutes, stirring to separate the garlic slices, until the garlic is crisp and pale golden (it will continue to colour after you take it out of the oil, so don’t take it too far). Strain through a sieve set on top of a small heatproof bowl to collect the oil. Set the fried chilli and garlic aside, to serve. Remove 80ml of the aromatic oil and reserve for another recipe. Combine the remaining 40ml of oil with all the remaining ingredients for the dressing.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200°C fan.
  4. Place the roasted celeriac wedges on a parchment-lined baking tray, cut side up. Make sure they’ve been brushed with their cooking oil and celeriac caramel by this point, and if not, brush with some olive oil and a little maple syrup or honey. Roast for 20 minutes, or until golden-brown.
  5. Arrange the wedges on a large platter and sprinkle with a little flaked salt.
  6. Add the fried chilli and garlic to the dressing and spoon over and around the celeriac. Top with 200g of the pickled celeriac mixture, avoiding the pickling liquid, garlic and lime skin. Garnish with the spring onions and Thai basil, and serve.