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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Easy-Easier-Easiest: Celery Root

Celery root, or celeriac, is one of my favorite autumn veggies.  It's only available at this time of year, so I eagerly await it.  The edible root is covered in a nobbly, creviced peel that must be cut away with a knife...no veggie peelers here!...and has the grassy, bright aroma of celery married to the creamy, crunchy goodness of a root vegetable. 

It can be eaten raw or cooked, depending on how much time you want to spend with it.  Celery root is a happy participant in any root veggie ensemble, whether roasted alongside sweet potatoes and turnips or mashed with potatoes, or is particularly delicate on its own as a side dish.

Like apples and potatoes, cut celeriac will begin to brown so if you cut it ahead of time, be sure to toss it with something acidic like salad dressing or store it submerged in lemon water.

NOTE: While not evenly remotely related to celeriac, jerusalem artichokes (or sunchokes) are low-glycemic impact tubers harvested in the fall that you can also prepare in the following ways.

Easiest: Celery Root, Pear and Olive Salad
Makes 4-6 servings

1 celery root, trimmed and cubed in 1/2" pieces
2 pears, cored and cubed in 1/2" pieces
1 bunch chives or scallions, chopped finely
1 cup black olives, coarsely chopped
ranch dressing to taste

Toss all ingredients thoroughly.  Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Easier: Braised Celeriac
Makes 4 servings

1 celery root, trimmed and cubed in 1/2" pieces
2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup white wine, vermouth or chicken stock

Heat butter over medium heat, and saute celery root until lightly browned, 5-10 minutes.  Add wine or stock, cover and simmer 10 minutes.

Easy: Roasted Root Veggies
Makes 6 servings

1 celery root, trimmed and cubed in 3/4" pieces
1 turnip, peeled and cubed
2 sweet potatoes, cubed (peeled optionally)
1 large sweet onion, peeled and cut into wedges
olive oil
1 tsp marjoram or savory
salt and pepper

Toss all veggies with oil and herbs/seasonings.  Roast at 400F for 40 minutes, tossing once or twice while cooking. Pin It

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