Celeriac, potatoes and bitter greens in oil

Celeriac, potatoes and bitter greens in oil

Lisa Cohen and William Meppem

In Turkey, especially around the Aegean, there are literally hundreds of varieties of wild greens. Almost none of these are available commercially in Australia because we don’t accord them the same value. If you know a forager, or have Greek, Turkish or Italian friends, they may be able to help you out with a secret supply, but otherwise bitter greens such as chicory and rapé work pretty well.

As with the recipe for baby carrots and leeks cooked in olive oil with orange peel and spices, you can strain, freeze and re-use the cooking liquor for other braised vegetable dishes.

Serve warm or cold as part of a mezze selection, with plenty of crusty bread for mopping up the juices.


Quantity Ingredient
350g small kipfler potatoes, peeled
1 celeriac
3 lemons, juiced
400ml white wine
500ml water
400ml extra-virgin olive oil
1 sprig thyme
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon coriander seeds, lightly crushed
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, lightly crushed
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns, lightly crushed
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 purple onion, cut into 1 cm dice
200g rape, roughly sliced
200g chicory, roughly sliced
1/3 cup dill, chopped


  1. Cut the potatoes lengthwise into thickish slices. Peel the celeriac and trim the sides to form a rough cube. Cut into five even slices, then cut each slice into sixths. Keep the celeriac in a bowl of acidulated water to stop it discolouring.
  2. Put the lemon juice, wine, water and oil into a large, heavy-based saucepan, and bring to the boil. Add the herbs, spices and salt and stir well. Add the celeriac, potatoes and onion to the pan and simmer for 8 minutes. Add the greens and increase the heat. Boil vigorously for a few minutes until the greens have wilted. Reduce to a simmer, then press a piece of baking paper, cut to the size of the pan, down over the vegetables. Simmer, covered, for 10–15 minutes, or until the potatoes and celeriac are tender. Remove the pan from the heat and leave the vegetables to cool in the liquid.
  3. When ready to serve, lift the vegetables from the poaching liquor to a platter – you may want to discard the larger herbs and spices. Strain the poaching liquor and refrigerate or freeze it for later use.
Middle Eastern
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