Saturday, December 11, 2010

Meet the Celeriac - a Simple Saturday Side Dish

If there were ever proof that you can't judge a book by it's cover - it's the Celeriac. CELERIAC SLAW

Let's be honest, it's not a pretty vegetable. For years I literally ignored these things also called, Celery Roots. If one rolled off the bin, I think I would've picked it up with a sneer and wondered why these little lean green celery stalks were being burdened by the big ball of warts attached to it. Thank goodness for food-enlightenment that sometimes comes from family members, books, schools, a client's request or just plain curiosity. I was so excited to discover the tingling crispy celery-flavored orb this knobby creature contains. The Celeriac is very versatile and can be served raw and marinated (as in this slaw), added as a mild flavor base to soup, and when cooked in milk can make an excellent whipped puree.
To prep the Celeriac, cut off both ends to create a safe base. Using a sharp knife, slice off the outer bark to reveal the white and crispy inside.

RECIPE: Celeriac Slaw

1 Celeriac (Celery Root)
3 Tbls Organic Mayonaise
2 tsps Stone Ground Mustard
1/2 tsp. Fresh Lemon Juice
1 Tbls. capers (drained)
salt/pepper to taste

1) Using a mandoline, slice the celeriac into thin rounds.

2) Stack the rounds, a few at a time, and cut into thin Julienne strips
3) Place the Celeriac sticks into a bowl with all the other ingredients. Toss (I think it works best with your own hands) to coat all the sticks. Adjust seasoning to taste.4) Cover and chill for a few hours. This is even better the next day.
The tangy crispness of this slaw makes it a perfect balancing side to a rich and starchy meal like we often serve at holidays or large gatherings. That's why I've selected it for my December Holiday Side Dish for the "Lets Lunch" bunch (a fun twitter group that makes a virtual luncheon date once a month). For a vast selection of unique side dishes - see these wonderful bloggers and posts:

Kitchen Trials - Parker Rolls

Geofooding - "Side Dish of Life"

Cowgirl Chef - Mushroom Leek Quinoa Salad

A Tiger In The Kitchen - Pickled Beets

Bon Vivant - French Leek Gratin

Dreaming of Pots and Pans - Peasant Bread

Hot Curries and Cold Beer - Green Beans

Cooking In The Fruit Bowl - Kimchi Risotto Bake

Free Range Cookies - Green Bean Casserole

**Please consider this an open invitation to join us for our next virtual lunch - simply look for us on twitter by typing in #LetsLunch **


Mai said...

Yummy! I think it's great you used something that isn't very known. I'm going to have to find some -- this dish is a winner!

Cowgirl Chef said...

I've passed by this odd-looking veggie so many times I can't even count. You've made this ugly duckling sooo beautiful - and I love how easy it is, too. OK, I'm on. You've inspired me to look beyond appearances and explore what's inside. xo

Nancy said...

This is one of my favorite salads - I remember the first time I had celeriac (it was this salad) at The Bouzy Rouge Cafe - I was smitten!!

It definitely proves that you can't judge a book by it's cover!!

Danielle said...

By the way, I love your last shot, simple, elegant, and the colors work really nicely together!

Chef Gwen said...

Well it sure is pretty after you've dressed it up! Looks terrific. Love celeriac and its gnarly appearance.

chow and chatter said...

wow this looks great I have never tried it either love the way you served it :-)

Khali//Bandit and the Scene Stealers said...

So yummy! Great photo too!