Salt-baked celeriac

Serves 2-4
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Indy Lifestyle Online

This is a simple dish that Julian Biggs, who used to run Urban Caprice, the catering arm of Caprice Holdings, created for an arty dinner last year. The original recipe had a salt pastry but because of the thick skin of the celeriac it works well just baked on a bed of salt and turned over every so often. It's also a great sharing dish to go in the middle of the table.

1 celeriac weighing about 600-700g
A couple of good knobs of butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
200g or so of salt for baking

Pre-heat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. Place the salt in a tight-fitting oven-proof dish or pan and put the celeriac on top. Bake for about an hour, turning the celeriac a few times while it's cooking, or until it feels tender when a knife is inserted.

To serve, cut off the top and either mash the middle with butter and seasoning or just make random cuts through the flesh and just add the butter and seasoning and replace the top.

Hix Oyster and Chop House, 36-37 Greenhill Rents, Cowcross Street, London EC1 (020-7017 9130; www.restaurantsetcltd.com)

To see Mark Hix's exclusive cookery videos, see http://www.independent.co.uk/hixcooks

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