Sometimes it’s the simplest of recipes that taste the best. With high-quality ingredients that complement one another, less is most definitely more. Why drown flavor in condiments, fats and oils, and excessive spices? The basis of eating well is often founded upon not confusing your body any more than you are your palette. This pea sauce tastes like peas and sensitizes your taste buds to the perfection of the little one. Used as a garnish on some baked celeriac, this pea sauce is both a feast for the eyes and a gift to your body.
Introducing celeriac (celery root):
It’s so plentiful in Istanbul and a mainstay in the Turkish diet. It’s not that common to use in the States, but I find it to be one of the easiest veggies to work with. It’s great as a side dish and can be baked, fried, grilled, boiled, etc. It tastes a lot like celery and parsley’s lovechild, only it isn’t stringy and has more bulk and starchiness to it than celery does. I personally struggle with celery – I don’t really like it nor the chewing required – but I adore celery root! It cooks quickly and softens to make a great neutral, light and uplifting yet earthy tone at the dinner table. Because of celeriac’s relatively simple flavor, albeit wonderful as is, I often like to accentuate it with sauces or spices to give it side-dish status. Today I made one of my favorite and quickest recipes for a pea sauce, which allows for the celery root to shine even brighter.
Queen Pea Tower
For the Celeriac
- 1 celeriac
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- Dash of salt and pepper
For the Pea Sauce
- 1 cup of peas, cooked or from a can and rinsed
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- 1 garlic clove
- 3 tbsp coconut milk
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1-4 tbsp water, depending on thickness
Before preparing the pea sauce, remove the stem and the skin of the celeriac. Cut into approximately five 1/2-inch discs.
Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Bake in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 12-15 minutes.
When finished, they should look like this:
For the pea sauce, food process the 1 cup of cooked (canned) peas, juice of 1/2 lemon, 1 tsp paprika, one clove of garlic, and salt and pepper.
Add 3 tbsp of coconut milk for a creamier texture. Depending on how thin your sauce becomes, you may have to add 1-4 tbsp of lukewarm water to get the sauce just thin enough to blend without clumping or having a grainy texture.
For presentation, first place one of the celeriac discs flat on a serving dish. Atop the celery root, place one spoonful of the pea mixture, and then another disc on top of that. Continue to layer, finishing off with a spoonful of pea sauce at the top and a garnish of paprika for some color contrast and extra bite.
So delicious! The peas are mellow enough not to overwhelm the simple flavor of the celery root, but provides enough of a punch to satisfy the palette. Bon Appetit!
Easy on the eyes, indeed.