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celery root question

hi all

there is a salad at a restaurant that is just greens, herb-dijon dressing, and celery root "julienne" (sp?) i LOVE the celery root and want to make this salad this weekend but i dont think i have ever seen celery root in the store. how does it come? do i have to cut it open like a pineapple or something? do i just slice it up? cook it? any advice would be very appreciated! thanks!

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    That is what celeriac looks like. It is a root knob, It can be rather rather hairy and muddy. You need to pare it well because of the rough surface. The salad with a mustard vinaigrette is classic. It also makes a great celery soup combined with clelery, celery seed, butter, chicken stock and cream. It is more of a winter veg. and not often seen at this time of year. Best ones are available Oct-Feb.

    1. Look for a recipe for a recipe for celery remoulade. A local restaurant makes it and I can never get enough of it.

      1. Ja, I'd be surprised if you could find it this time of year in the States. If you have a local farmer's market, I'd ask any farmer who is selling celery whether you might be able to get some from him. It's the root of the celery plant. To prep, you rinse it well, then slice off the hard outer skin. I don't usually have the patience to julienne it; I grate it on a box grater into long shreds, marinate it a little while in a mustard-lemon juice -olive oil vinaigrette, and serve tossed in toasted poppyseeds.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Gooseberry

          Celery and celeriac (celery root) and Lovage, sometimes called celeri batard are all related and have similar flavors, but they are not the same plants. Occasionally you can but celery root with the stems still attached and they will look a bit like puny little celery stalks, but is definitely not the root of celery. Sept. -May is the season for it.

          1. re: Candy

            I stand corrected. Thanks for the clarification, Candy.

        2. I love celeriac and still distinctly remember the look on the grocery checker's face when we first bought some a few months ago ("Er, what in the world is this?"). Most of the conventional grocery stores have it. It's placed really close to the lemongrass at the local Ralphs, and one time the store had mislabeled the lemongrass as celery root. It's actually quite easy to handle and prepare, but it requires a little bit of soaking before pealing or grating. We made a coleslaw using celery root for a picnic and it was a hit. I'm getting hungry just thinking about it.

          5 Replies
          1. re: OCKevin

            Why do you soak it before peeling/grating? It also grates up nicely in the food processor, and is wonderful cubed and roasted - has an entirely different flavor.

            1. re: MMRuth

              I have never soaked them prior to prep. I did see some in the grocery this aftrnoon. They were the sorriest looking celeriacs I have ever seen. Quite withered
              and dry looking and shrunken. They had been held in a produce warehouse way too long.

              1. re: MMRuth

                I like celeriac roasted, too. My mom also made a dish that she said was from the Irish side of the family: dice the celeriac in 1/2" dice and steam till just tender, dress with a mild vinaigrette and serve warm with grilled meats.

                I've taken to making a shallot vinaigrette with a bit of dijon mustard for this side. You cold also serve this chilled, as it's essentially a side salad, but I really like it warm. The leftovers are great in a green salad the next day.

                1. re: MMRuth

                  I didn't think the soaking was a necessity,until I reviewed a couple of recipes we had, and both said something to the effect of soaking in water to prevent discoloration. But I'm glad to hear it's not a maker or breaker.

                  1. re: OCKevin

                    That would be acidulated water, like water and lemon juice, after peeling, like with apples etc.

              2. You can roast it in the oven. It can be boiled and pureed like potatoes. I like to eat it raw (as in Mexico) with some lime juice and chili powder. I add it raw to alot of salads. It's quite versatile and delicious.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Doreen

                  I have not tried celery root with lime and chili but have eaten jicama that way and it i quite tasty. I'll have to give it a try when the new crops start coming in.