Rose Prince gave a recipe for this the other week in one of the weekend papers and it sounded so good I made it as soon as I got my hands on some celeriac. It doesn’t sound terribly promising, indeed I might even apply the adjective ‘worthy’, but it’s filling and warming and not at all stodgy. This makes enough for two.
Melt a good knob of butter in a pan and sweat a finely chopped onion. Cut half a head of peeled celeriac into matchsticks and add to the pan with a clove of chopped garlic. Stir in the butter for a couple of minutes, then add 150g or so of pearl barley. Coat in the butter, then pour over enough chicken stock to cover by 1cm. Put a lid on and leave for 15-20 minutes. Check how the barley’s cooking, it might need a splash more liquid. Cook until the barley is tender, but don’t expect it to amalgamate like risotto. The grains will stay completely separate. Season and squeeze in as much lemon juice as you like, but lots is the key, Serve topped with a good dollop of creme fraiche or sour cream.