Friday, April 24, 2009

Celery Root with Lemon-Cilantro Dressing

OK, enough of this chit-chat about lemons and citrus zest, let's cook something.

This week I was in the mood for a light salad of celery root. I remember the first time I had celery root, which was when I was a teenager on my first visit to France. You know how when you taste something you've never had before and you're totally surprised by it because you weren't anticipating it and didn't even know that such a flavor existed? Well, that's why I remember my first taste of celery root.

I had it in céleri rémoulade, a salad of fresh celery root dressed in a creamy mustard dressing that is a standard in French charcuteries (sort of like delis). Then I ordered it every place I went. I think it made my mother crazy. Hon, don't you want to try something else? (Hmmmph, teenagers.)

Anyway, this week's recipe pays homage to that, but adds a lot of the flavors that have made it onto my favorites list in the intervening years, to wit: jalapeño, cumin and cilantro. When I sent the recipe around to the group of cooks who get recipes before they're posted, I got a question about where you could buy celery root. So for anyone else who might not know, here's a picture of a celery root (ugly little sucker). Chances are you've walked right by it in the supermarket wondering to yourself, "Who in his right mind would want to eat that??"

Celery Root with Lemon-Cilantro Dressing
A very under-appreciated vegetable, celery root (celeriac) has a great celery taste and a satisfying starchy crunch.

1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon minced pickled jalapeño pepper
5 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1-1/2 pounds celery root (celeriac), peeled and cut into thin matchsticks
3 carrots, shredded
1/2 cup minced cilantro

1. In a large serving bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, jalapeño, lemon juice, salt, cumin and black pepper.
2. Add the celery root, carrots and cilantro, and toss well to combine. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, about 1 hour.

Makes 6 servings

1 comment:

  1. Yikes - I've never gotten used to that celery root in remoulade sauce - yours looks much better. Since introducing this vegetable as a regular guest in our house my family has become crazy for celery root puree. Your blog has a lot of interesting information - thanks for sharing.