For months, I have been walking by a very large bin of brown and white knobby vegetables, at least the size of softballs, at my favorite produce stand at the marché. At first, I wasn’t sure what they were, but then spied the sign reading “céleri rave.” Known in English as celery root or celeriac, these vegetables are never going to win any beauty pageants. Someone once described them as looking like the mandrake roots in Harry Potter, and I think that’s an apt comparison. But despite its intimidating appearance, celeriac is actually easy to prepare and should earn a spot in your winter recipes. Start with this take on Celeriac Remoulade.
Celeriac (or Celery Root) Remoulade is quite a popular salad dish in Paris, and in fact, I recently had a lovely version of it topped with crabmeat as an appetizer at a local bistro. Very simply prepared, it is just shredded or julienned celeriac tossed in a simple mayonnaise-mustard sauce. Think of it as the French version of coleslaw. My recipe uses both whole-grain mustard and Dijon mustard for extra flavor and texture, and adds some fresh dill to brighten it up. Really a delicious way to get some vegetables in a winter meal.
How Do You Make Celeriac Remoulade?
To prepare celeriac, rinse and scrub off any dirt.
Then slice off the top and bottom of the root. Standing it on one flat side, use your knife to slice around the root, trimming off the skin.
Next, you can either grate the celeriac or slice it into matchsticks. To grate, chop it into pieces that you can feed into your food processor, and use the shredder attachment. Or, grate it using a handheld grater. To slice into matchsticks, cut into thin planks, then cut each plank into matchsticks. Either way, cut out any brown spots you find. Next, prepare the remoulade by whisking together the mayonnaise and both mustards. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Stir in fresh dill.
Toss celeriac with the remoulade and let sit for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with more dill if you like.
Note: If you have a smaller celeriac, or end up cutting out quite a bit of it in the trimming process, don’t use all the dressing to start. Toss with half, and see how much more you need to add. Avoid having your celeriac swimming in dressing.
Can I Make Celeriac Remoulade in Advance?
You can make your celeriac remoulade up to an hour in advance, but not more. The celeriac will soften and begin to discolor as it sits. If you want to prepare your ingredients in advance, prepare the celeriac, but transfer it to a bowl of cold water with lemon juice squeezed in it. The remoulade sauce you can prepare in advance and store in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.
What is Celeriac or Celery Root?
Celeriac, also know as celery root, knob celery, or turnip-rooted celery, is the root of a celery plant. This is a different type of celery plant than traditional celery, though the look and flavor are similar. Celeriac itself has a light flavor that is a bit like celery, but its texture is more like that of a potato. The celery flavor becomes less pronounced as the root ages.
Can You Eat Raw Celeriac?
Yes, as with this recipe in which celeriac is not cooked, you can absolutely eat it raw. It just needs to be peeled before you slice, chop, or grate it.
Nutritional Value of Celery Root
Celery root is more nutritious than you might think. It is high in fiber, and also contains a good amount of vitamins K, C, and B6. Celeriac is also a good source of minerals like potassium, phosphorus, and manganese. Some evidence suggests that nutritional content decreases with cooking, so eating celery root raw in this salad is a great way to ensure you receive all its benefits. Celery root is low in carbs, so is an excellent replacement for potatoes, should you want to reduce your carb intake. Finally, celery root is low in calories and fat.
What is the Best Way to Peel Celery Root?
The outside knobby layer of a celery root is quite hard, and too difficult to peel with a vegetable peeler. Instead, after you have washed and scrubbed off any dirt, use a sharp chef’s knife to peel off the outer layer of skin. It is difficult to trim every nook and cranny exactly, so don’t make yourself crazy by trying to leave every bit of good flesh. Celery root is inexpensive, so buy a little more than you need so that you can trim off large sections as needed. Celery root discolors quickly, so if you will not be using it right away, put it in water with lemon juice squeezed into it.
What Can You Make with Celeriac Besides Celeriac Remoulade?
Besides this remoulade salad, there are many more things you can do with celeriac. Chop it up and add to a regular salad. You can also cook it in a variety of ways—try it roasted or thinly sliced and topped with cream, then baked as a gratin. Or boil it until tender and serve like mashed potatoes. You can even spiralize it and either cook it or serve it raw, tossed in a dressing. Perhaps one of the most popular uses for celery root though is to cook it in vegetable broth and purée it into a soup, either by itself or with potatoes, leeks, and even fennel.
When is Celeriac in Season?
In mild climates, celery roots are most available in the late fall, winter, and early spring months. Look for firm, heavy roots that look fresh and not at all slimy. You can store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks, lightly wrapped.
How Do You Know if Celeriac Has Gone Bad?
Celeriac will begin to have soft spots around the outside that will begin to turn slimy. If this is the case, or if it begins to smell unpleasant, discard it.
Other France-Inspired Recipes
If you enjoyed this recipe, you might want to check out some of my other France-inspired recipes including:
- Easy Sole Meuniere
- Coq Au Vin Blanc
- Salade de Tomates
- Vin Chaud
- Baked Brie with Fig Jam
- Puff Pastry Cinnamon Rolls
- Green Beans Almondine
- 1 medium-large celeriac (roughly 1 1/2 lbs or 700g)
- 4 T. (80g) mayonnaise
- 1 T. whole-grain mustard
- 2 t. dijon mustard
- 2 t. finely chopped fresh dill, plus more for serving
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- To prepare celeriac, first rinse and scrub off any dirt.
- Then slice off the top and bottom of the root. Standing it on one flat side, use your knife to slice around the root, trimming off the skin.
- Next, you can either grate the celeriac or slice it into matchsticks. To grate, chop it into pieces that you can feed into your food processor, and use the shredder attachment. Or, grate it using a handheld grater. To slice into matchsticks, cut into thin planks, then cut each plank into matchsticks. Either way, cut out any brown spots that you may find in the celeriac.
- Now prepare the remoulade by whisking together the mayonnaise and both mustards.
- Taste and season with salt and pepper. Stir in fresh dill.
- Toss celeriac with the remoulade and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.
- Garnish with additional dill, if desired.
If you have a smaller celeriac, or end up cutting out quite a bit of it in the trimming process, don’t use all the dressing to start. Toss with half, and see how much more you need to add. Avoid having your celeriac swimming in dressing.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 16 Total Fat: 0g Saturated Fat: 0g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 279mg Carbohydrates: 3g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 0g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 1g