Great Veggie Box Mysteries

So… what to do with the celeriac, the orange pumpkin thingy and the fennel? Not all at once, mind; but if anyone has any ideas that'd be tops!

Update: Whoa! Thanks a bazillion comrades! After much deliberation and examination of wot's in our pantry I've finally narrowed it down. Since the celeriac is so huge I think I will use half for this mustardy mash and half in Kathryn's celeriac, leek and white bean soup. Then methinks the pumpkin cauldron looks good, and Cal's suggestion of braised fennel a la Orangette looks like a winner. I've made Molly's braised cabbage many times and it changed the way I looked at the humble green lump forever. Ooh yeah.

Update Update:  16/01 Sorry to keep adding to this post, long-suffering Bloglines subscribers; but I'm in LURVE with celeriac! I ended up roasting half of it along with a bit of that amazing pumpkin. The pumpkin had a strong, nutty flavour and the celeriac was gorgeously sweet.

The next night I made celeriac mash with the rest of it, with vegie sausages. On the side was some curly kale and Molly's braised fennel. I was a bit worried because when raw the aniseed pong was overwhelming, but the braising really mellowed it out.

Last night I roasted to the last of the pumpkin and a chunk of butternut and chucked it in a risotto, phwoar! Thanks again for all your ideas. I hope we get another pumpkin next week!

49 thoughts on “Great Veggie Box Mysteries

  1. Hi there diet girl, that is an unusual mixture of vegies to get all at once! Fennel is one of my favourite vegetables – you can use it as a salad vegetable, sliced really thin. It goes really well with radish, pear and a bit of goat’s cheese. You can also cut it into wedges and roast in the oven.

    Celeriac can also be used raw in salads, again thinly sliced, but it also makes a beautiful soup. SORRY about the self promotion, but I have a recipe on my blog for celeriac, leek and white bean soup:

    I’m not sure about the pumpkin, apart from doing normal pumpkin things with it?

  2. I suppose celeriac remoulade isn’t an option?:)

    Celeriac puree is delicious.
    Fennel is often shaved very finely and mixed with orange segments and maybe some radish, flat leaf parsley and a citrus dressing for a really lovely refreshing salad. Or you can braise it or bake it (with fish and pork especially)

  3. For pumpkin/squash I can’t go past big chunks of it in a nice curry (it gets all smooshy but still holds its shape) or alternatively roast pumpkin risotto. Yum.

  4. That is the coolest collection of unusual veggies I have ever seen. How is it that one comes upon a random box of veggies?

    I would probably throw the celeriac into a veggie soup of some sort.

    As for the orange pumpkin thingy? Ah heck, cut it in chunks and throw it in the soup too.

  5. You could stuff the pumpkin or soup it or wedge it if it will hold shape and sprinkle cheese over and serve with salsa or tzaiki(can’t spell) dip. Or bake and brush with honey just before cooking time is finished. Mashed with a sprinkle of chives would be nice on a cold night.

  6. Fennel and orange salad. I’m not sure it’s the best recipe, but it makes sense and it’s the first good one I got off google.
    I would put the other two in some soup, if it’s cold outside. If not, I’m sure google could help.

  7. Braise the fennel – I have a great recipe for it somewhere I can email you if you like. Whatever you do, don’t attempt to steam or boil it (not that I’m talking from experience or anything, oh no!)

    Apparently celeriac is good mashed with potato but I’ve never tried. I think you can also just mash it on it’s own as well.

    Turn the pumpkin into spicy pumpkin soup. Or roast it. Boring but good! I’ve heard that pumpkin muffins are good too.

  8. Bollocks – I meant ‘on its own’ of course, I do know how to use apostrophes really. Think it’s time I went to bed.

  9. The fennel is the one that, ironically, looks more like celery with the little green frondy things on it. I like it sliced, spritzed with olive oil and broiled.

    You could roast the squash and use it in any recipe that called for cooked pumpkin — just scoop the flesh out and mash it.

    I’ve never tasted celeraic.

  10. I like celeriac pureed with a little butter. As for the fennel, it’s good in soup, sauteed, roasted…just an all around good veggie.

  11. The orange squash is good, but dry. It will be good blended up in soup. You COULD roast it first and than put it in the soup…

  12. All the above sound great, or you could just leave them on your desk like that and take pictures of them every day. They’re kinda cute.

  13. Finely sliced fennel into salads or used sparingly in soups. Pumpkin – soup, scones, roasted. Celeriac – grate and use instead of cabbage in coleslaw, boil up with the pumpkin and mash them together.
    Actually, you’ve got a pretty good soup with those three things!

  14. The fennel is great when slowly caramelised like onions, use a light flavoured stock or a little white wine. It then forms a great base for whatever style pasta sauce you would like to make. (my personal choice is with smoked salmon, cream and fennel but not so diet friendly!)

  15. Oooh I had this amazing fennel salad recently! It has avocado & linseeds & pine nuts & sunflower seeds & herbs… it’s really tasty, & healthy too. Can’t remember the recipe off the top of my head, but will hunt around at home & post it here, cos it really is tops!

  16. trying again it didn’t post the first time ๐Ÿ™‚
    hope it doesn’t post twice!

    I love fennel and eat this salad several timss a month usually with fish or chicken..

    Quarter, core, and thinly slice the fennel across the grain. Add a couple of handfulls of italian parsley. You are using the parsley as a salad green, not a garnish. Add juice of a lemon and some olive oil to taste. Add salt and pepper. It’s best if it sits about 10 minutes before eating. YUM!

  17. oh man! these all sound so good! you’re all hired as my personal chefs… hehehheeeeeeeeeee.

    i have never eaten fennel before so it will be interesting. almost can’t bear to cut that little pumpkin coz it’s rather cute…

    thanks for your ideas, groovers. i know i can look online but personal recommendations rule the school ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. I have an excellent recipie for seewt pottatoe and butternut (although i am sure pumpkin will work very well too) that has 1 fennel bulb in it ๐Ÿ˜‰

    if ur interested let me know and i can email you the recipe

    No idea what a celeriac is though!

  19. Fennel is my favorite veggie snack – I love the smell of aniseed. Cut it up and keep it on your desk at work and just eat it raw. People will think you’re eating onions (!!) but they can move on.

  20. I got almost exactly the same things in my box last week. Maybe the UK and Holland got confused?? I just roast the pumpkin (just cut into wedges skin on and seeds removed) with potatoes, very filling and virtually no calories. Use your handy oil spray bottle, spray them and the potatoes, sprinkle with salt and pepper and a bit of nutmeg (only the pumpkin), then bake at 180C for 40 minutes or so.

    The fennel is problematic for me as I don’t like it much but I found a recipe for braised pork fillet with fennel which I’m going to try.

    Celeraic is a mainstay in Dutch thick pea soup so I guess that’s what I’ll make with it.

    We won’t mention the two red cabbages, the salsify or the sweet potatoes hiding in my cupboard …

  21. Whenever I get a pumpkin in my box (snigger) I like to make some variation on Pumpkin Cauldron

    Fennel, like everyone says, basically wants very finely chopping and eating in salad, or quartering and braising or roasting. I’ve also heard it is good cut very finely in a stirfry, but I’ve not tried it.

    The only thing I have ever done with celeriac is make rosti (peel and grate along with some potato, rinse and squeeeeeeze, add beaten egg and fry like a big vegeburger thing, not the healthiest, but delish).

  22. Celeriac is a bit strong, I think to eat on its own. In Germany they make a shredded celeriac salad (Shredded celeriac mixed in with mayo) which you could do with extra light mayo or natural yoghurt, a bit of garlic and salt and pepper. I like celeriac and carrott mashed together on the top of a shepherds pie; a bit of low fat cheese grated over it and you’re away!

  23. OOOOH. FENNEL. I’ve got a recipe somewhere for broiled fennel in slices with a bit of lime juice and parmesan cheese sprinkled over it. SO SO GOOD.

  24. I just found an article on you that says you live in Dunfermline? I also live in Fife and would like to get a veggie box too! How does one do it?

  25. Here are my favourites:

    Fennel – I don’t really like it, but even so it’s good in a risotto with crayfish. Recipe in Jamie Oliver’s first book.

    Celeriac – Mashed with potato, it’s great with any meat, I think. Or roasted along with potatoes and other roots. I’d go for the mash though. Or add a small amount, chopped into cubes, in any vegetable soup.

    Pumpkin – sometimes pumpkin soup can be a little bland. Make sure you add onions and try a bit of chili to spice it up a bit! And serve with creme fraiche. Or just leave it in the windowsill. I did that, never got around to making the soup (chopping pumpkin is hard work). Very pretty and it keeps for months.

  26. I’ve posted a fab recipe found in Leith’s Vegetarian Bible for Carrot and Celeriac Gratin on my blog just for you! I’d never actually tried celeriac before so, inspired by you, I bought one today and made it. Yum.

    I highly recommend Leith’s Vegetarian Bible if you get a veg box – the chapters are arranged by vegetable, very handy and to date all the recipes I’ve tried have been great.

  27. If you like the taste of them, the fronds of the fennel can also be very good on top of soups, in salads, on chicken, etc.

    I just bought Celeriac for the first time yesterday! I’m looking forward to using some of these suggestions.

  28. Is it like a mystery box that you get?Im not sure that i understand.Ive never used a fennel but i think you can put them in salad,ive heard of fennel soup too.Im not sure about that ugly brown thing.What a beautiful orange pumpkin!!!

    sorry I just realised I am not being particularly helpful.good luck ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. Okey dokey, as promised hereโ€™s the recipe for my current favourite salad โ€“ Marinated Fennel with Quinoa & Seed Salad!
    Mix 2tbs red wine vinegar, ยผ cup extra virgin olive oil, 2 garlic cloves (crushed), season. Thickly slice 4 baby fennel bulbs (or 2 normal sized bulbs), then add to mixture with 8 green spring onions (whole), set aside for 1 hour (although when I make this I usually canโ€™t be bothered waiting, & it still tastes great).
    Meanwhile make the quinoa & seed salad โ€“
    Put ยฝ cup quinoa in a pan with 1 cup of ricemilk, add extra if needed to cover the quinoa. Bring to boil, then simmer over med-low heat for 10-15 mins till grains swell & become tender, & milkโ€™s almost absorbed. Drain & cool.
    Combine ยผ cup basil (chopped), 1 garlic clove (crushed), 1 tbsp lime juice & 1 tbsp olive oil, & set aside.
    Get 1/4 cup each of linseeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds & pine nuts, & toast in pan till golden. Season to taste.
    Preheat bbq/chargrill pan to med-high, cook fennel 5-10 mins, browning on both sides. Remove & keep warm, then cook the spring onions (if you leave them whole & donโ€™t chop them like I did the first time I made this, it makes it a heck of a lot easier to separate the fennel & onion!)
    Cut an avocado into thick wedges.
    Divide avocado, fennel & spring onion among serving plates, top with salad & extra basil leaves.
    The recipe says it serves 6, but for us it served 2 very hungry people, with leftovers.

    Hope you like it!

  30. I read about you in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune article here-

    I’m trying to lose 100 pounds and you’re a true inspiration.

    And I love your blog title, and your writing style.

  31. hey there Greg! very nice to meet you and best of luck with your 100lb ๐Ÿ™‚

    lisa jane – that’s our toaster in the background, it’s a 4-slicer and it RULES! hehe.

    as for the vegie box, we get it delivered every 2 weeks and it has a variety of stuff, you get basics like onions, carrots and spuds every time but then they chuck in a few weird things ๐Ÿ™‚

    cal – oooh your dinner sounded fab. i do have Leith’s vegie bible, Sandra gave it to us for a wedding present. i dunno why i didn’t think of that. thank you!

    rachel – i emailled you about the box yesterday arvo, hope you got it!

    kara – well i learned something today, celery root is indeeed the same as celeriac. so now i have another 20 billion recipes to choose from *g*

    and cheers everyone else for your fab ideas ๐Ÿ˜€ i really like the sound of the pumpkin cauldron.

  32. I don’t care for fennel myself because it smells too much like licorice or anise which I hate.

    Celeriac is a staple ingredient in any German soup or broth. You could dice what you have (or any part left over), freeze it in small amounts and throw some into any vegetable soup you make. It doesn’t have a very stong taste so it blends in well with many other vegetables.

    The pumpkin you have is almost certainly a Hokkaido which is the very best kind! It was difficult to buy one here in the past so last summer I grew my own and all the grocery stores suddeny had mountains of them for sale! One great thing about them is that you don’t have to (and shouldn’t) peel them. Just scrub it and slice away any blemishes and use it in any pumpkin recipe. I tried your recipe for pumpkin soup not long ago and it turned out very good. It’s a very flavorful pumpkin and it’s not so huge that you end up throwing away most of it. (Brought to you by the Internatinal Hokkaido Appreciation Society)

  33. If you can get hold of a copy, Nigel Slater, The Kitchen Diaries, has at least three great recipes for pumpkin (he is also a veggie box recipient).

    I got my first fennel this week too – thanks commenters for the suggestions!

  34. I LOVE celeriac! I often buy it at the supemarket. Haven’t read any comments above so forgive me if these have been suggested – peel and cut into chunks and boil with potatoes and then mash together – yummy! Or peel and cut into chunks and spray with oil and roast/grill alongside other veg. Also yum!

    Fennel – I’ve never done anything except slice and use in a stirfry.

  35. Ode to Pumpkin

    I am a pumpkin
    Round and orange,
    Call me a squash and you’ll be sorry,
    I can be grey,
    I can be blue,
    Baked, boiled or mashed
    (And for the bold, stirfried)
    Under this hard skin
    I am sweet inside.

  36. hail the mighty hokkaido!

    my mash link doesn’t seem to be working, shall fix it tomorrow. but sleep for now x

  37. I like slow roasted fennel with red onions done in a tiny amount of olive oil – then, when soft, crumble goats cheese across the top and put back in the oven until it melts.

    I normally cube celeriac and put it in casseroles in place of celery OR as a component of a mixed veg mash with sweet potato and parsnip.

    As for the orange pumpkin thingy – it would probably go well in a curry or just plain roasted (maybe in with the fennel). Yum!

  38. Say NO to fennel LOL…… got so rat-arsed, many moons ago at a 21 birthday party on Pernod, that even the whiff of fennel takes me back to the ‘hanging over the loo and Billhueying’ for hours…… so lob the fennel in the bin and be done with it :)…….

    Great Blob (Blog) or blob if I look in the mirror….


  39. I’ve never had the guts to tackle celeriac. But, now that I’ve seen Kathryn’s (Commentor #1) recipe with the leeks and the white beans… wow. That’s this Sunday’s featured soup right there.

  40. In the spirit of international de-lurking week, I’m officially de-lurking and leaving you a comment finally! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Doesn’t fennel taste like onion!? I’d be too scared to even go near it in the grocery store, let alone cook something with it!

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