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A Swede Pretending to be Ham

Swede is scrumptious roasted whole, however, coating it with sugar and mustard makes it irresistible, tipping the level of satisfaction to the extreme. This dish makes a great centrepiece for any table and is perfect served hot or even cold the next day, when I love it sandwiched between two thick slices of bread, just like ham, with extra mustard and plenty of watercress. The recipe works equally well with a whole celeriac.



1 swede – about 500g, or celeriac
12 cloves
glug of extra virgin olive oil
30g unrefined sugar (jaggery,
rapadura or dark muscovado)
20g mustard

To serve


Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas Mark 4.

Score the swede all over with a knife, cutting about 1cm into the flesh in a criss-cross pattern – just like a ham. Stud the top with cloves, arranging them evenly over the surface. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle lightly with salt. Wrap the swede in a large sheet of unbleached parchment paper and place in a small ovenproof dish.

Roast in the oven for 1 hour, then remove the parchment and return to the oven for a further 30–60 minutes, or until the swede is well cooked. At this point, remove the swede from the oven and turn down the temperature to 120ºC/250ºF/Gas Mark ½. Mix the sugar and mustard together in a small bowl and coat the swede all over with the mixture. Return to the oven and cook for 20–30 minutes. Carve at the table and serve with sauerkraut and watercress, or set aside to cool and serve sliced in sandwiches.


This recipe is from Eating for Pleasure, People & Planet by Tom Hunt.