Nov
12
    
Posted (Lori) in News

Celeriac

I’ve been waiting anxiously for the celeriac to arrive. I have two main uses for this ugly but delicious vegetable: I add it to chicken soup, which makes it much better every time; and I make celeriac remoulade, one of my favorite winter salads. David Lebovitz’s Celeriac Remoulade, below, includes good instructions for preparing celeriac.

I’ve included a few other celeriac recipes—in case we get enough so that I don’t use it all on celeriac remoulade.

NEXT WEEK: I’m going to gather Thanksgiving recipes. If you have any to add, please send them to me.

Celery Remoulade (Céleri Rémoulade)

About six servings

Celery root is pretty easy to prepare, but does discolor a bit once sliced open and grated. So make the dressing before slicing and grating the celery root, for best results. I like mine really mustardy, so I use a fairly large amount. If you’re unsure, start with less; you can add more, to taste, when the salad is finished.

To peel celery root, lop off the root and opposite end with a chef’s knife. Then stand the round root on a flat end then take the knife and cut downward, working around the outside, to slice off the tough skin. In the states, celery root are often smaller, and have more complicated roots, and you’ll need to cut a bit deeper to remove them.

  • 1 cup (240 g) mayonnaise, homemade or store-bought
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt, plus more, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 1/4 pounds (1 kg) celery root

1. Mix together the mayonnaise, mustard, 1 teaspoon of salt, lemon juice, and a few grinds of black pepper.

2. Peel the celery root and grate it coarsely.

3. Mix the dressing with the celery root and taste, adding additional salt, pepper, mustard, and lemon juice, to taste.

Note: If the salad is too thick, you can add a few spoonfuls of whole or low-fat milk to thin it out.

Storage: The salad will keep for one to two days in the refrigerator.

SOME NOTES ON CELERIAC REMOULADE FROM NIGEL SLATER

The French can buy this classic winter salad from any corner shop, whereas we probably have to make it ourselves. It is the best use of the knobbly, ivory-coloured root yet devised.

THE RECIPE

Peel then shred a medium-sized (450g) celeriac. The shreds should not be too fine, nor should they be thicker than a matchstick. Toss them immediately in the juice of half a lemon. Mix together 4 heaped tbsp of good mayonnaise, 2 tbsp of smooth Dijon mustard, 2 tbsp of double cream or crème fraîche and 2 tbsp of chopped parsley. Season with salt and black pepper, then fold into the shredded celeriac. Set aside for 30 minutes then serve with thin slices of ham.

THE TRICK

Toss the shredded roots quickly in lemon juice to stop them discolouring and to tenderise them. The dressing should be just thick enough to cling to the roots – in other words creamy without being soupy. Thin the sauce down with lemon juice if it gets too thick. Cream or crème fraîche sounds extravagant, but is essential if the salad is to be more than just roots in mayo. Don’t attempt to keep it overnight. It will become soft and claggy as the celeriac soaks up the dressing. Chop the parsley finely – this is not the time for roughly chopped.

THE TWIST

Beetroot remoulade has a more vibrant colour and a mixture of celeriac and beets is good, but should be lightly mixed so as not to turn the dressing raspberry pink. Poppy seeds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds make unorthodox but welcome additions, as do chopped toasted walnuts. A lighter dressing can be made using fromage frais instead of crème fraîche.

CELERY ROOT POTATO MASH

3/4 lb russet potato, peeled, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 1/4 lbs celery root, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium onion, peeled, chopped
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon brandy (optional)
1/4 cup sour cream (use lite if you wish)
1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped (oruse another fresh herb)
salt & pepper

Directions:

1
Place the potatoes, celery root onion & vinegar in a saucepan, cover wi th water, bring to a boil and simmer until the vegetable are cooked and tender. (apprx.25 minutes).
2
Drain the veggies, stir in the brandy, mash the vegetables. Leave them slightly chunky.
3
Stir in the sour cream & dill. Season with salt & Pepper.

Celeriac, chicory and orange salad with toasted cashews

I love raw celeriac in a salad. Its flavour, both earthy and sweet, balances piquant, sharp or bitter ingredients beautifully. Serves four.

75g cashew nuts
2 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp English mustard
2 tsp cider vinegar
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
250g celeriac
1 head chicory
1 large orange

Put the nuts in a dry frying pan, toss over a medium heat for a few minutes until lightly toasted, then set aside to cool.

Combine the olive oil, mustard and vinegar with some salt and pepper, and tip into a mixing bowl. Peel the celeriac and cut it into matchsticks. Toss the julienned root immediately in the dressing to stop it from browning. Trim the chicory and separate the leaves, then add to the celeriac in the bowl. Spread the dressed celeriac and chicory on a plate.

Cut a slice off the base of the orange and stand it on a board. Use a sharp knife to cut through the peel and pith of the orange, slicing it away completely, in sections. Working over the plate of celeriac so any juice that escapes will fall on to it, cut out the individual orange segments, letting them drop on to the salad as you go. Squeeze any juice out of the remaining orange membrane over the salad. Add some more salt and pepper to taste, scatter over the cashews and serve.

COLLARDS

A friend who grew up in North Carolina taught me her family’s collard recipe. It’s not really a recipe as much as a technique.

Wash the collards and cut into ribbons. Bring a big pot of water to a boil and add the collards. Add some meaty bones—a ham hock, marrow bones, other soup bones—a slices carrot and a sliced onion. Then cook the collards for at least two hours, adding water if necessary. When they are totally soft and creamy, having lost their original shape, remove the bones and chop up whatever shreds of meat still cling to them. Season with salt and cayenne.



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