Food & Drink

James St Recipes: Vegetables don't have to be boring - Niall McKenna's spiced potatoes and celeriac with roasted seeds

Niall McKenna's celeriac with roasted seeds
Niall McKenna's celeriac with roasted seeds

THIS week's recipes feature two delicious seasonal vegetables - potatoes and celeriac.

Vegetables don't have to be boring. In fact, it is amazing what a little spice can do to elevate the flavour of the veg, transforming it into a delicious restaurant worthy side dish or vegetarian main meal.

These are two dishes that we often make at home using leftover veggies, as we try to keep waste to a minimum, especially given the increasing cost of groceries and fresh produce.

Once your cupboards are stacked with an array of different spices and seasonings, you can experiment with flavours, finding exciting new ways to use up the left over veg in your fridge or pantry.

:: For more information about free cookery demonstrations at Waterman Cookery School, visit


(Serves 4)

1tbsp of groundnut oil

1tbsp black mustard seeds

1tbsp of chilli powder

4tbsp of cumin seeds

10 curry leaves

2tbsp of ground cumin

2tbsp of ground coriander

1tbsp of ground turmeric

500g of potatoes peeled, cut into 2 1/2cm chunks

salt and pepper for seasoning

6tbsp of chopped coriander leaves

4tbsp of lemon juice


Place a large non-stick pan on a medium heat and add all the chilli powder, cumin seeds and curry leaves, stir frying for two minutes until fragrant.

Add the ground spices and potatoes to the oil and stir-fry briskly over a high heat for four to five minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped coriander.

Taste for seasoning and add in the lemon juice just before serving.


(Serves 6)

1 celeriac

1tbsp of butter, plus extra for cooking

1tsp of smoked paprika

1tsp of ground cinnamon

1tsp of coriander seeds, crushed using a pestle and mortar

1tbsp pumpkin seeds

1tbsp sesame seeds

1 lemon, halved

Salt and pepper for tasting


Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper.

Peel the celeriac with a large sharp knife and rest the bottom flat to the board, roughly chopping into bite-size pieces.

Place the butter in a large frying pan and cook on medium heat until it starts to sizzle and colour on all sides.

Keep an eye on the heat ensuring the butter does not burn. If the pan starts to smoke, add more butter.

Place the celeriac onto the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle over the spices and seeds, tossing to combine. Place the lemon on top and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.

Before serving use tongs to squeeze over the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper and serve.