The Joys of Celeriac
Celeriac, or celery root– céleri in French– is a bit of a mystery to most Americans. It’s simply the root of celery, the stalks of which we usually eat. It’s round, and white, and surprisingly tasty. Yes, it tastes like celery! Refreshingly light and crunchy.
Here are two French recipes using celeriac. The first, Cèleri Rémoulade, is a coleslaw-like salad, very common everywhere in France. Thanks to Helen Mulroney for making this with me.
Grate a medium-sized peeled celery root. Medium means 12 oz. or so, the size of large softball. Toss with 2 tbsp lemon juice immediately to keep it fresh.
Whisk together 1/3 c. mayonnaise, 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard, salt, pepper, and (optional) 1 tbsp snipped chives.
Add the dressing to the grated celery root and toss to coat. Add more pepper to taste.
Makes a refreshing starter or salad course.
Another way to use Celeriac is in this baked celery root mash with eggs.
Thanks again to master tester and food photographer, Judy Williams.
Celery Root Bake
- 1 medium celery root, about 12 ounces
- 5 tbsp butter
- a handful of celery leaves or 1 green onion
- 4 – 6 eggs
Peel the celery root- it peels easily with a peeler or paring knife. Cube it into 1-inch cubes, then boil the celery root in salted water for about five minutes, until tender.
Mash celery root with as much butter as looks tasty. Chop the celery leaves or green onion and stir into mash.
Put the mash into a baking dish or four ramekins and make 4 (or more) indentations. (Amount of mash will differ depending on size of celery root.) Fill each one with an egg. Season each egg with salt and top with a dab of butter. If using ramekins, place on a baking sheet.
Bake in a 475 F oven until the eggs set but the yolks are still runny, about 12-15 minutes.
For a special dish add shaved truffles to the mash.
adapted from Fergus Henderson in Nose to Tail Eating