Springtime roast with braised celery and paprika butternut squash mash

Sunday, Sunday here again! A few notes from a spring-time roast last week.

Celery is one of my all-time favourite flavours, and yet it sometimes feels a little side-lined, just one stick needed for each recipe, a few sticks garnishing a jug of bloody mary, left in the sieve from gravy, reduced down beyond any recognition in rich sauces. And all of those components are better with celery, but on it's own, it's strikingly salty flavour and texture can also be delicious. I lightly roasted a few sticks along with some carrots and onions last Sunday, so it came out juicy and almost the same taste as celeriac, (the bulb of the plant of which celery makes up the stalk), but without the aniseed flavour, which I can sometimes find overwhelming. One thing to bear in mind when seasoning the celery is that it does seem to absorb any salt it goes anywhere near.

With the braised celery I made a paprika butternut squash mash, adding some chili flakes and chili oil. The squash seemed to release a lot of liquid so I let it reduce on a low heat for about 20 minutes. You could also add a potato to the mash to absorb some of the excess liquid. This paired up well with some flash-cooked greens and leeks, barely boiled and left with a clean, light flavour to counter everything else going on. 

Roast potatoes, vegan haggis uncovered from the depths of the freezer and rosemary onion gravy completed a pretty huge Sunday roast line-up.