From Dan Pizarro, chef Avec Bistro

2016 Sep/Oct


  • 2-1/2 lbs. celery root
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1 T. grapeseed oil
  • 1/2 c. finely chopped shallot
  • 1 T. minced garlic
  • 2 T. white wine (preferably sauvignon blanc)
  • 1 c. vegetable stock
  • 3 T. cold butter
  • 1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 soft-poached eggs or fried eggs, if preferred
  • salt and pepper to taste


This is cooked with the traditional risotto method. Start by washing the celery root. Carefully peel the celery root with a peeler or knife and discard the outer peelings, then cut the edges to make asquare. Place the cut edges into a pot with the milk and slowly simmer until tender. Once cooked, place in a blender and purée until smooth and set aside to finish the dish.

With the square of celery root, cut 1/2-inch slices, then turn and cut 1/2-inch-slice sticks and then turn once more to cut 1/2-inch cubes (if done in advance, place in a bowl of cold water with a little lemon juice so they don’t turn brown). Put the oil in a pan on low-medium heat and gently sauté the celery root (dry it if it’s been in a bowl of water), shallot and garlic. Continue to stir slowly until the shallots are translucent, but not caramelizing. Add the white wine and continue to stir slowly until the wine has cooked off, with no colour added to the pan. Then, add half the vegetable stock and, gain, slowly stir until the liquid has reduced by about half. Once the stock is reduced, add the other half and stir until the mixture is a little loose. Finish by adding the reserved purée, butter and gratedparmesan.

At this time, stir quickly to create an emulsion. The celery root should be a bit al dente to give it texture.

Serve in bowls topped with a poached or fried egg and season with salt and pepper. I like to serve this dish with a small acidic salad to cut the richness. Serves 2 as an entrée or up to 4 as a sidedish.