On a warm and sunny bank holiday Monday, a little bit of extra effort making this delicious lunch was well worth it. The flavours work so well together, and we wondered why we don’t use celeriac more often. We were able to enjoy this in the sunshine in our garden, and then again the next day as a tasty working lunch in our offices. As we were eating this, we were also thinking of what other combinations would work well with the base recipe, so watch this space for more sformata.
- 500g celeriac, peeled
- 2 tbsp olive oil for roasting
- 30g butter
- 30g plain flour
- 450ml whole milk
- 250g baby spinach
- 100g rocket (save some leaves for garnishing)
- 250g ricotta
- 3 eggs, beaten
- nutmeg for grating
- 100g parmesan, grated
- 2 sprigs fresh tarragon, chopped
- 75g pine nuts, toasted
- Heat the oven to 180° fan. Cut the celeriac into 1.5cm cubes and toss in the oil, with salt and pepper. Roast on a baking tray for 25-30 mins. Prepare a 18cm springform cake tin by oiling all the inside surfaces.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter in a pan, stir in the flour and cook for a minute. Take off the heat and whisk in the milk slowly to make a smooth sauce. Return to the heat and simmer for a few minutes to thicken, though note that it will be quite a thin sauce. Allow to cool.
- Rinse the spinach and rocket and gently cook in a lidded saucepan until it has all wilted. Drain the leaves as much as you can, then roughly chop.
- Combine in a large bowl the eggs, ricotta, 75g of the parmesan and a generous grating of nutmeg and a good grind of black pepper, then pour in the cooled sauce. Add the chopped leaves and mix well, then stir in three-quarters of the roasted celeriac.
- Pour the mixture into the cake tin and level the top. Sprinkle over the remaining 25g parmesan. Bake at 180° fan for 35-40 minutes. Allow 10 minutes of cooling in the tin before opening the springform tin and placing the base of the tin onto a plate for serving. Top with the toasted pine nuts, the remaining celeriac and the reserved rocket leaves.