This French-inspired vegan recipe is a stunning alternative Christmas main. Celeriac takes centre stage here, its nutty, earthy flavour seeping out as it absorbs the stock. Meaty mushrooms and cooked chestnuts combine to give this dish a warm, festive feel.
For the onions, heat the oil in a frying pan over a low heat. Add the onions, thyme leaves and a pinch of salt. Cook over a low heat for 25 minutes until lightly golden. Stir frequently and add a splash of water if the pan begins to dry out.
For the stock, place all the ingredients in a large pan and cover with 1.25 litres (2pt) of water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and strain into a jug.
For the mushrooms, heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds until just golden at the edges. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, for 12-15 minutes until all their water has evaporated.
Preheat the oven to gas 5, 190°C, fan 170°C. Peel and quarter the celeriac. Slice the quarters as finely as possible. Cut the garlic clove in half along its length and rub a 32cm x 24cm (12 1/2in x 9 1/2in) baking dish with the cut sides. Layer the base with a third of the celeriac, half of the mushrooms and half of the onions. Repeat, then top with a final layer of celeriac. Pour in 500ml (17fl oz) stock (leftover stock can be poured in an ice tray, frozen and used as vegetable stock cubes.)
Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover, scatter with the chestnuts and bake for a further 25 minutes until the celeriac is cooked through and golden on top. Spoon onto plates and serve with greens.
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