Yield: 4 servings
Celery root or celeriac is the root of the plant Apium graveolens. While in North America we are familiar with the aboveground stalks and leaves known as celery, the roots of a closely related plant are very popular in the Mediterranean and European cooking. In recent years celery root has started to appear in our markets too.
When shopping for celery root search for the heavier roots, as they have not dehydrated and so will be fresher and tastier.
Sometimes farmers sell them with the stems, and though these are less prominent than celery they can certainly be used too; just cut the stems from the root and store them separately.
I love celery root and add it to many of my recipes, as it adds taste to any stew or mashed roots. One can’t cook a healing chicken soup without adding celery root to the pot. But celery root can also be eaten fresh, as a vegetable, in a refreshing salad. Pairing sour, crunchy apple with the earthy, naturally salted celery is a winning combination. This salad can be served alongside the pears for a fruitful fall branch.
For the salad:
1 celery root, cleaned, peeled and shredded.*
1 green Granny Smith apple, cleaned and shredded.
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ cup parsley leaves, cleaned and separated from stems
½ cup almond halves, toasted**
For the dressing:
¼ cup olive oil
½ lemon, squeeze the juice
1 tablespoon whole-grain Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon salt (if desired)
Pour 1 tablespoon lemon juice on the shredded apple and celery to prevent oxidation.
Add salad ingredients to a bowl: shredded celery root, apple and parsley leaves.
In a separate bowl mix all the dressing ingredients till the sauce is homogenous.
Pour sauce on the salad, mix well, add almonds and serve
* Celery roots have a thick, brown, brushy skin that needs to be removed completely. As fresh celery roots are very fi rm (if fresh) I usually use a chef’s knife and not a peeler to take off the skin. First, trim the uneven hairy head and the bottom.
Then start peeling around it, until all the skin is gone, cleaning brown spots with a small knife. As with all roots, after peeling, make sure you wash the dirt off the celery. To shred, use the thick shredder in a food processor or, if you have the time, julienne with a knife.
** To toast, place the almonds in a thin layer on a heavy, ungreased skillet, over medium heat. Toast for 2–4 minutes, until golden, while stirring the almonds with wooden spoon, making sure you are not burning them, as that can happen very quickly if your mind is somewhere else…