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Salt crust baked celeriac

Thu, 16 January, 2020

Celeriac in armour; whole celeriac baked in salty, crusty dough flavoured with rosemary. The unassuming vegetable gets a Michelin star makeover by chefs from James Martin to Tom Kerridge.

salt crust baked celeriac

Salt crust baking

The very first thing I’d eaten that had been baked in a salt crust must have been potatoes. Coated in salt and flour mix and baked in a hot oven, I had them probably at a school friend’s house served with a bit of cottage or goat’s cheese on the side.

Having been brought up on plain boiled potatoes, I thought that was an epic culinary innovation. Perhaps it isn't quite on that level, but it is a good simple peasant dish in the best sense of the name. Also unrelated to the cook’s background - the friend's parents were posh.

whole celeriac baked in salt crust

More salt baking

Then came fish; a whole sea bass or sea bream baked in a mountain of salt, cracked open and filleted for me at a lightning speed and with a blinding skill in a Venice restaurant. I have since made my own version and the salt truly does magic: the fish has the loveliest, succulent texture and the fragrance of spiced and zested salt baking could sell your house in a jiffy.

Salt, crust and Skosh

I first had salt baked celeriac in Skosh, a brilliant York restaurant. It was then one of their signature plates and however much I like celeriac, I didn’t expect fireworks. There weren’t; but it was an intriguing dish. So off I went to try my own.

celeriac baked in a salty shell

Whole baked celeriac is impressive

Skosh celeriac was presented de-crusted, in chunks, and garnished with spicy seeds if I remember correctly. So I had no idea how stunning it is when it emerges from the oven in the salt shell.

You crack and slice the top like off an enormous soft boiled egg into which a knob of butter goes to lusciously melt. It is the most impressive sharing vegetarian centrepiece and fun to eat. It tastes pleasantly earthy, a little sweet and it’s meltingly soft.

salt baked celeriac

Eat the crust or not

Can you eat the crust? You can, by a small crumb, for a uniquely mouth-puckering high salt experience. It retains the flavour of whatever herbs or spices you mixed into the dough; more so than permeates into the celeriac, naturally, through the gnarly skin.


And it doesn’t let you down the next day: you can peel and cube the leftover celeriac and eat it cold with mayo, add it to a salad or gently sear in the pan with a little butter to heat it up.

Salt crust baked celeriac

Servings: 6Time: 2 hours 30 minutes


  • 1 large celeriac, about 1 kilo
  • For the salt crust:
  • 200g salt
  • 300g plain flour
  • 2 tbsp. finely chopped rosemary
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 150 ml warm water
  • butter, to serve (olive oil for vegan version)


1. Wash and scrub the celeriac but do not peel it. Trim the gnarly end so the celeriac can sit on it.

2. To make the crust, mix the salt and flour together in a bowl, add the rosemary and oil and stir in the water. Knead by hand or in a standing mixer for a couple of minutes to obtain smooth dough. Let it rest for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 160C (fan if available)/325F/gas 3.

3. Dust the worktop lightly with flour. Roll the dough out to a large disc about 30cm in diameter. Place the celeriac in the centre and wrap the dough around it, squeezing out trapped air, to completely encase it. Seal any cracks with wet fingers.

how to prepare salt crusted celeriac

4. Place the celeriac on a baking tray, on a piece of parchment. Bake for 2 hours.

baked celeriac

5. With a sharp knife slice off the top of the crust and the celeriac. Add a knob of butter and fluff up the celeriac flesh with a spoon. Serve as a centrepiece, for everyone to scoop out the flesh with spoons. Any left over can be peeled and served cold with spiced mayo.

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Your comments

Anna @ CuisineFiend
Hi Wynn - perhaps you trimmed it too severely or peeled it? That's the only way the salt would impact the celeriac.
8 months ago
Wynn Roberts
The celeriac was a lovely creamy texture, but way too salty. I guess I must have done something wrong, although I have checked all the ingredients very carefully. Shame, very disappointing! Had to throw it all away.
8 months ago
Anna @ CuisineFiend
I know, I always have the same issue! But as it's really salty, I think only in small quantities as sprinkling on salads or maybe instead of breadcrumbs for coating but I've not tried that myself so can't guarantee the result.
4 years ago
one more question: i hate to waste the flour, salt, etc. by throwing out the shell after the extrication of the celeriac. is it possible to use the shell in some other way later? add in chunks as dumplings in soup? crumble on a salad? please advise.
4 years ago
Anna @ CuisineFiend
Probably needs a little more water.
4 years ago
my dough does not seem to cohere. lots of crumbly bits. what am i missing?
4 years ago

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Hello! I'm Anna Gaze, the Cuisine Fiend. Welcome to my recipe collection.

I have lots of recipes for you to choose from: healthy or indulgent, easy or more challenging, quick or involved - but always tasty.


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