Well, hello there!  Sorry, I’m a little late this month, good old changing of the weather cruddies got me.  Anyway, as I had discussed last month, I’m doing a two-part recipe this month and next.  This month will be the side dish.  Next month will be the main protein. This is a fantastic dish to serve with almost anything. It can be a dinner or breakfast side.  It also employs two supremely underrated and underused vegetables, as you will see in the ingredient list below:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 celeriac a.k.a celery root, diced  
  • 3-4 parsnips, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp grapeseed oil
  • 2 Tbsp fresh sage, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Ok, let’s talk about it.  I know, that celery root is ugly.  It really is one of the ugliest vegetables you can buy, on the outside anyway.  However, it’s one of the best tasting in my book.  It tastes a bit like its green stalk that grows out of it but has a sweeter taste to it. It is also criminally underused.  It has so many other uses, like being made into a puree that’s like a sweeter mashed potato. Parsnips also get a bad rap.  They too can go the puree route.  You could also make a ridiculously delicious root vegetable bisque with these.  

First thing first, peel it, but use your knife.  That outer skin is a bit too tough to use a vegetable peeler on. Now peel your parsnips.  Once both are peeled, cut the celery root in half, and save the rest for another time.  You want to cut the parsnips, celery root, and green pepper into about ½ inch pieces.  Also, try to keep all the pieces the same size as best as you can.  Uniformity will just make the cooking easier and you won’t have some overcooked and some undercooked pieces because of the size difference. Also, chop your herbs up and put them aside.

Once the vegetables are all chopped, heat a sauté pan on medium heat.  Once it’s hot, add the oil and butter.  Let the butter brown just slightly.  Once it’s just turning brown, add the parsnips and celery root.  Now, this is important.  Do not start stirring it.  You want to let this sit and cook a bit to let the root veggies caramelize a bit.  After about 3-4 minutes on one side. Flip them over.  

They should be slightly golden brown.  Let them cook for another 3-4 minutes.  After about 8 total minutes of cooking time, add the herbs and mix well. This would also be a good time to add some salt and pepper.  Wait about 2 minutes and then n add the bell peppers

Now, some of you are wondering why not just add the bell peppers as the beginning.  There’s a good reason to not add them right away.  They cook a heck of a lot faster than these hearty root vegetables.  If you added the peppers in right at the beginning, they would be mushy and not tasty whatsoever.  So.  Adding them after cooking the root vegetables later in the recipe ensures the same level of doneness and thus much better taste and texture. Stir the hash around a bit and cook for another 5 minutes.  You want the root vegetables to be slightly crisp on the outside, but tender, not mushy, on the outside.  Once everything has cooked, transfer to a bowl, serve and enjoy!

Ok, a couple of things to finish this out.  One, there’s an ingredient missing.  Sometimes, I’m a bonehead and I don’t bring a list to the grocery store.  This hash was supposed to have sweet potato in it as well, but I simply forgot to buy one.  That’s usually how I make it and it’s delicious. It also looks cooler with the orange and green in there together. However, it is not necessary.  This has with just these ingredients is just as delicious.  You could also use carrots if you like.  Beets could be used if that’s your jam.  Add onions to it as well, it’s great with onions.  Again, these recipes I write are just baseline recipes.  They can be adapted to suit your tastes how you see fit. 

Here’s the other thing, with one simple omission/substitution, this recipe becomes vegan-friendly.  All you must do is eliminate the butter and this hash becomes totally vegan.  I developed this recipe when my stepbrother went through his unfortunate, but thankfully brief vegan phase, and I had to learn how to cook for him on holidays.  It was a challenge but I made some surprisingly delicious vegan food.

While this hash is delicious by itself, it goes better when paired with other food.   It would also be fantastic with some sunny side-up eggs on top. But, what I served it with this time is what I’ll be showing you next month: honey mustard herbed pork loin roast.  See you next month!

Jay Flanders

Jay Flanders is a native of Newport and avid cook. While he studied at the University of Rhode Island, he also attended the College of Food Network via his television set where he learned the basics of cooking. Also being an all-too-avid eater at restaurants, he really began to learn what ingredients went together, cooking techniques and other tips and tricks in the kitchen. He used that knowledge to teach himself how to cook and how to start making his own recipes. Now, he’s here to give you his tips, tricks and sometimes uniquely tasty spins on recipes and to show you that great cooking can be done is the tiniest of kitchens like his.