Mixed Greens Blog

Mixed Greens Blog
Living Sustainably in the Pacific Northwest


Celery Root: It’s a Keeper

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This is such a “Beauty and the Beast” story. Celery root, aka celeriac, has such a misleading appearance. Why would anyone want to eat a root vegetable that has been referred to as a “vegetable octopus” or “rastifarian turnip”? Because, under that gnarly, hairy, wrinkled exterior, lies a delicious, creamy root. If that isn’t enough to convince you, unlike any other root vegetable, it contains only 5-6% starch, making it very low in carbohydrates.

I know I swore off creamy comfort foods last week, but now I’m back on track for the holidays, and this is low-carb, making it slightly more virtuous than pure mashed potatoes. As far as taste goes, you can add this to the top of the list of luscious root vegetable purees. I’m certain it would also be an excellent addition to a roasted vegetable dish.

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But wait, there’s more. This is the time of year to pull up a jar of the dill pickles Sally wrote about last summer. Right after I brought a jar up from the basement, Charlie began to pull out some of the pickles and replace them with stalks of celery root and carrots. I protested but after just a few hours in the jar, they were excellent garnishes for Bloody Marys. Even if you aren’t making cocktails, a plate of pickled celery root, carrots and dill pickles makes a great appetizer. The lesson is don’t throw out the liquid when the pickles are gone, reuse it. I’m going to try radishes, turnips and whatever else I can think of for a quick dip in pickle juice.

If I’ve convinced you to give celery root a try, you can find it at the University Farmer’s Market at Willie Green’s. Here is my version of a recipe for celery root puree.

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1 1/2 cups whole milk

1 1/2 cups water

1 T salt

1 large celery root , peeled and cut into 2″ pieces

1 potato, peeled and cut into 2″ pieces

1 small onion, peeled and quartered

3 T butter

Bring the milk, water and salt just to a boil, then remove from the heat. Add the celery root, potatoes and onion to the milk mixture. Bring to a boil again, then turn the heat down and simmer until tender, about 15-20 minutes.

Drain the liquid off and discard. Combine the vegetables and butter in a food processor and puree. Salt & pepper to taste. Add more butter if desired. If you want to make this ahead of time, let it cool, then refrigerate until you’re ready to use. Be prepared to be surprised at how utterly delicious this simple dish is.

Looks can be so deceiving….

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7 Responses »

  1. I read this post and I thought what a good idea, celery root. Then I went to the store and one knob was over $9.00. I asked the checker to put it back. I think one would have to learn to grow this. S

  2. Ouch! that’s expensive. At the farmers market they were $2.50 a lb and I saw them for $3 lb at Whole Foods today. Each weighs about 1.5 lbs. I’d look around, don’t give up.

  3. I find them to be quite a bit cheaper at the farmers markets too. The flavor really is lovely. I made a soup from them last year, with wild rice, but that puree looks like a good thing to try.

  4. It was nice to be in line behind you today and overhear the celeriac conversation. I snagged a few and will be making this tonight to go with some good Alaska salmon from an Edmonds fisherman. Thanks!

  5. Nancy, Thanks for checking out our blog. I am truly in love with this recipe and have made it several times. I hope you like it too.

  6. Can anyone tell me how to make a pickled celery root. When I was in Germany 35 yrs ago, I had the most incredible kraut on earth. I was 14 and not too familiar with veggies that were not easily recognisable. I thought it was cabbage but my sister who lived in Germany thought it was a turnip slaw. It was shredded and raw, like a coleslaw, and served in a gasthaus and several restaurants in Bindlach.

    i just bought one today. $2.69 regular size. $9. I would put it back also.

  7. Elizabeth, You may be thinking of celery root remoulade. We don’t have a recipe on our blog but if you google it, I’m sure you can find several. It’s a slaw made with celery root, not pickled. We do have a recipe for sauerkraut, using with cabbage instead.