11.19.2012

Celeriac: The Weird and Wonderful Winter Vegetable

I found Ariana’s blog a little while back and I was blown away with the charm and remarkable photography of her blog And Here We Are…  She just captures the essence of pure foods without all the fluff and stuff. I. simply. Love. her. blog! I have exciting news today, she is guest posting here on Gutsy!!

Hi Everyone!  My name is Ariana, and I blog over at And Here We Are… about living the good, simple life as an expat in Europe.  Caroline invited me to come share a post with you, and I thought we should talk about a very misunderstood vegetable: Celeriac.  Have you cooked with it before?  I think that this root is often passed over for other more familiar vegetables, since it looks so weird.  I never really knew what to do with it when I saw it once in a while in the USA, but when we moved to Germany a couple of years ago, I kept seeing it at the local markets, and decided it was time to give it a try.  I am so glad I did– this root has become one of my family’s staples.  OK, so let’s talk about it.

What is Celeriac?

Celeriac is a root vegetables with a huge underground base called a hypocotyl.  This part is edible, as are the shoots that look like sort of stringy celery stalks– but it’s this hairy bulbous part that we really want to eat.  This crazy-looking vegetable can be eaten raw or cooked in a wide variety of ways, making it super versatile.

What does it taste like?

Celeriac does taste like it’s cousin celery, but it’s also pretty sweet.  I would compare it to a parsnip, actually, but it’s less starchy than most root vegetables.  And when it’s cooked up, it becomes quite creamy!

When is it in season?

Now!  That’s why I think we should all try it– it’s great to be able to add more winter vegetables into our cooking repertoires, since it’s in late autumn and winter that we end up feeling like there isn’t as much variety from our markets and gardens.

Preparing Celeriac

There are so many ways that you can use celeriac.  I’ll show you how to peel it, and then I’ll share my favorite way to cook it.

 

Peeling Celeriac

1.  Lay the root on its side, and slice off the top.

2.  Turn it around and slice across the bottom, removing most of the hairy roots.

3.  Set the bulb on its freshly-flattened bottom, and use a sharp knife to  slice the peel from top to bottom, rotating and slicing until all of the sides have been peeled off.

4. Turn it over, and make any little slices you need to along the bottom to remove any remaining skin.

5.  You’re done! Slice the round bulb in half, and continue to prepare however you like– in spears, cubes, etc.

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Celeriac and Apple Purée

My favorite way to use celeriac is in a nice mash or purée.  It’s really simple if you have an immersion blender, and is very easy to adapt to include other vegetables.  Here’s the version I made to take to an early Thanksgiving dinner this past weekend.

1. Roughly chop or slice a whole celeriac bulb, and put it in a pot filled with about an inch of water.  Turn the heat under the pot up to medium, put the lid on, and let it steam for about 15 minutes.  While it’s steaming, peel and chop a large apple (or two.)  Add the apple after about 15 minutes, and continue steaming (check and add a little more water, if needed) until the celeriac and apple are both very tender.

2.  Drain any remaining liquid from the pot.  Add about 1/3 cup of butter (this part is very adjustable, and you can add more later, if you’d like, so do it your way!) , a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, a bit of salt, and some pepper.  Puree this with your immersion blender until fairly smooth.

3.  Taste it.  I used a tart apple, and still felt the need for a little more lemon juice.  Adjust your seasonings until it tastes how you like it, and then blend some more.

You can serve this just like mashed potatoes!  I also enjoy the combination of carrots and celeriac, or turnips and celeriac– it’s hard to go wrong!

I also recently made celeriac fries to go with a venison stew— really delicious!  Do you have any questions?  Do you have a favorite way to prepare celeriac that you’d like to share with us?

I also made celery root bacon hashbrowns a while back with celeriac. So now you have lots of recipes to make with this wonderful veggie! Have fun 🙂

 

 

~Stay Gutsy!

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Comments

  1. I was just reading about celeriac on Ariana’s blog (And Here We Are), and now I see that you posted that recipe! So cool that you tried it. I’ve never had celeriac. I’ll have to see if anybody around here has some.

  2. true story. i have the celeriac from my CSA still in my freezer from last spring! i pureed it with the leafy greens and packed it full of sea salt, then put in glass jar. poof. bouilllon. soup magic. it is a green as the day i put it in the freezer. i love having green earthy yumminess from three seasons ago still in my freezer.

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