Buy a celery root in the grocery store and 93 times out of 100 they will ask what it is. It is about the size of a grapefruit and it looks like it's spent months buried in the ground. It is the root of the celery plant, although the celery plants used to grow celeriac are slightly different than those used to grow celery.Celeriac tastes just as one would expect. It looks, feels, and tastes like a root vegetable. But it has a really strong celery flavor as well. At its worst, celeriac can taste strange and soapy. At its best it has a collection of flavors that are the quintessence of celery with aromas as far afield as toasted coconut.
One might use celeriac alone, but it is probably best to add it to recipes that use other root vegetables; parsnips, carrots, potatoes, or turnips for instance.Here are some strategies for treating celeriac effectively in recipes.
Peel and cut up one celeriac. Place in a bowl and cover with wrap; microwave for five minutes. Meanwhile, peel and cut up four large carrots and two parsnips. Add these and 1/4 cup water to the bowl and cover again, microwave for seven minutes. Remove and process the contents in a food processor until smooth. Add 3 tbs butter, a little salt and pepper. Pulse 3-4 more times. Optionally, you could add a little chicken stock or a little cream. But the simple, spare presentation makes this an ideal dish for a large and complex holiday meal that is already full of rich foods.
Copyright S.R. Brubaker 2002 - 2006.