For this week’s assignment I chose celery root (celeriac) because the mention of it in last week’s class intrigued me – I’ve never used it before and never really had heard of it being used; and eggplant – not because I’d never used it but because my younger son suggested it and I thought (wrongly) that this might get him more interested in trying to eat it!
The first thing I made was eggplant parmesan, which was pretty easy to make, and my husband and I both liked it but it was a thumbs down for both kids. I think I’d still make it again – eggplant is a flavor that takes some getting used to if you’re not familiar with it. Also, the sauce recipe that came with this was pretty yummy.
I was excited to cut into those wacky looking celeriac bulbs so I cut one up and roasted it to go with some ribs my husband was making. In all the recipes I had looked at, it seemed like it might take this vegetable a while to roast in the oven, but one recipe I found called for putting it into some aluminum foil (sealed around the edges) for 25 minutes before opening it up and roasting for 15 minutes. It has a nice mild potato/celery flavor to it. Kids were noncommittal but ate a few bites.
One thing I’ve discovered about celery root is that it has a lot higher water content than a potato. I had a second bulb so I made a small amount of potato celery mash and after I boiled the veggies I had to heat it on the stove for a little longer than you’d normally have to do with just potatoes to get the mixture to dry out enough. I thought the end result was quite tasty, and adding the potato mellowed out that celery flavor.
Finally, I really love baba ganousch and have never made it. I had one more eggplant left so I found a recipe online. Who knew it was so easy to make! (although I had to go back to the store to buy some tahini) And turned out quite yummy with pita bread. Kids wouldn’t go near it but I think I can get them to come around.
I don’t think I really changed the amount of produce that we ate this week, I think I just changed it a bit from the veggies we normally have. Also, I feel I didn’t really do a good job of incorporating these dishes into our meal routine. They all ended up being more like little food experiments I sprinkled in throughout the week (but the experiments got me a little more comfortable with these veggies so perhaps I’ll be more likely to use them in the future). I would say that produce did not end up being more prominent in our meals, other than the night that we had eggplant parmesan, which was the main course that night. I think I still need some more work in that area.