Salt-Baked Celeriac and Bacon Farro Risotto

Salt-Baked Celeriac and Bacon Farro Risotto

Course Main Course
Cuisine British
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 50 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 674kcal
Author Eat Love Eat


For the salt-baked celeriac purée

  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • few sprigs of rosemary needles picked
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 300 g coarse sea salt
  • 400 g plain flour
  • 250 ml cold water (1 cup)
  • 1 celeriac base trimmed, skin on (roughly 0.8-1kg)
  • milk to purée

For the farro risotto

  • 170 g farro (1 cup) rinsed
  • 4-6 rashers smoked streaky bacon sliced into strips
  • 1 tablespoon rapeseed or olive oil
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 stick celery finely chopped
  • splash of white wine optional
  • 2 cloves garlic grated
  • 1 sprig rosemary finely chopped
  • 250 ml celeriac purée (1 cup)
  • 250 ml vegetable stock (1 cup)
  • poached eggs to serve


For the salt-baked celeriac purée

  • Preheat the oven to 170ºC/340ºF. Whizz the peppercorns, rosemary needles and bay leaves in a food processor until finely chopped and fragrant. Mix together with the salt, flour and water to form a stiff dough. Roll the dough out to 1/2 to 1 cm thick. Encase the celeriac tightly within the dough, ensuring it is properly sealed. Trim away any excess. Place on a baking tray and bake for 2-3 hours, depending on the size of your celeriac.
  • Once cooked, crack open the salty armour (prepare to use a bit of muscle!) and scoop out all of the soft, yielding flesh into a mixing bowl. Using a hand blender (you could also a food processor) whizz the flesh into a purée, adding a little milk as you go to achieve a luscious consistency. The flesh will be soft so you shouldn't need much liquid.

For the farro risotto

  • Start by cooking the farro. Place in a pan with around twice its volume of cold water, bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  • Whilst the farro is cooking, fry the bacon strips until golden and crisp, around 5 minutes.
  • In a heavy based pan heat 1 tablespoon of rapeseed or olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and celery along with a pinch of salt and cook until soft and golden, around 10-15 minutes. As they cook, add the splash of white wine, if using, or a splash of water. Check that the celery is no longer crunchy.
  • Add the rosemary and the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes until fragrant. Add in the bacon.
  • Add to the pan the cooked and drained farro, the celeriac purée and the vegetable stock. Heat through and stir until you have a creamy consistency, adding more stock or water if required. Season well with pepper - you shouldn't need much, if any, salt, but taste and season as you see fit.
  • Serve with soft poached eggs.


You will likely have excess salt dough - when I made this I salt-baked some potatoes too and they were delicious. I'm sure that you could use the leftovers to salt-bake all kinds of veggies!
The purée can be made in advance and either kept in the fridge for a couple of days until needed or frozen. 1 celeriac yields around 2 cups of purée so you could either double this recipe to feed 4-6 or freeze half of the purée for another day.
Makes enough risotto for two with some leftovers (or two hungry people!)
Salt-baked celeriac recipe slightly adapted from Gut Gastronomy by Vicki Edgson and Adam Palmer via the Telegraph.