Celery root is sometimes maligned for being so ugly. I suppose it’s odd looking but the flavor and adaptability more than make up for its homely appearance. One of my favorite dishes growing up was what my mother called “fake ling cod”. She steamed then breaded and pan-fried thick slices of celery root and served them with lemon wedges.
When you get a celery root in your CSA share or at the farmers market you may be lucky and find some stalks and leaves (that resemble celery leaves) still attached. These are delicious–in moderation as they are quite strong–finely chopped and added to soup or stock.
It is probably best known for the classic French celery root remoulade, a salad of julienned raw celery root dressed with a creamy dressing of mayonnaise and mustard and plenty of black pepper.
Celery root keeps well in the refrigerator in a plastic bag. It is a bit tricky to peel but I find a paring knife works well–they’re a bit lumpy for a vegetable peeler. You can also cut them in chunks and lay them cut side down on a cutting board and use a chef’s knife to slice away the roots and skin. Dirt does get stuck in the crevices around the roots so I always feel like I cut away more than I should but it seems necessary.
Ingredients that complement celery root:
- Cream, butter, sour cream, creme fraiche
- black pepper, red pepper flakes
- Cheeses such as gruyere, sharp cheddar and Parmesan
- Beef, chicken, pork
- Shellfish, particularly scallops
- Fish (salmon, halibut, cod, etc. )
- Greens (particularly in soups and stews)
Dishes that include Celery Root: