Elizabeth David's celery root stewed in butter success
In my quest to expand my vegetable repertoire, especially those in the "cheap, seasonal, and also low-carb" variety, I just had to share a great recipe I found while re-reading Elizabeth David's French Provincial Cooking-- paraphrased, shred celery root on the mandoline into a thin julienne, and stew in an ample amount of butter in a saute pan, about 10 minutes, until tender crisp. Add salt, pepper, grainy dijon mustard and a dash of tarragon or wine vinegar to taste, stir, and serve.
I held the celery root (half again as large as a softball when all the trimming was done) in acidulated water for a half hour while I made the rest of the meal (center cut pork loin chops, cooked in the style of the veal chops recipe in Gordon Hammersley's cookbook-- pan seared, oven finished, with a cornichon/cream/ mustard/shallot/white wine sauce), and then stewed it in a 12" non stick saute pan with about 1/3 stick of salted butter. I added salt and pepper and dried parsely flakes, but did not make the other seasoning additions, as I planned to use the celery root as a bed for the pork chops with their piquant sauce. The celery root was delicious, amazing, incredible, and made a great bed for the sauce. The sometimes grassy note I have been unable to eliminate in roasting and steaming preparations was totally gone, and the flavor was earthy, yet mellow and sweet. It's definitely going to become a new staple in my rotation of weeknight dinner menus. And it's very elegant looking-- it would be a great dinner party side dish, as well as a nice alternative to mashed potatoes, noodles, rice pilaf/risotto, or other starchy dishes that fill the mellow "white" element of a meal.
It was a monochromatic meal, to be sure, but for getting dinner on the table in less than 45 minutes, it was great. A nice salad would have rounded it out, and provide some crisp/cold contrast.
I'm thinking the next time I make this, I'll serve it under salmon, and add julienned fennel and lemon zest to the stew to see what happens. If anyone has had other successes or variations with this recipe, I'd love to know about it.