Celery Root and Chile Gratin


3 lbs celery root
3 TBs olive oil
1/2 to 1 fresh red chile, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves
1 cup 1/2 and 1/2 cream
salt and freshly ground pepper
Peel the celery root and slice as thinly as possible -about the thickness of a dime is ideal; use the slicing blade of a food processor if you like. In a large mixing bowl, toss the slices with 2 TBs of the olive oil and all the other ingredients until the slices are evenly coated and the garlic and chile well distributed. Transfer to a lightly oiled gratin dish, spreading out the slices with your fingertips; you don’t have to layer piece by piece, but try to have pieces lying flat. Pour over any cream left in the bowl and trickle remaining oil over the top. Bake in a preheated 375 F oven for 40 to 50 minutes until celery root is completely tender and the top is browned and crisp. For extra crispness you could finish it under the broiler for 1 to 2 minutes.

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