Have you ever seen celery root (aka celeriac) in a produce section and wondered what the heck it is? Or why would anyone want to eat such a funky-looking veggie?
I have. But that was then and this is now. I’ve used celery root in a number of recipes. Even though I’m not a huge fan of celery, celeriac’s milder, earthier taste has grown on me the more I’ve worked with it.
A while back I posted a recipe for a gourmet soup featuring celery root. Today, I’ll share a recipe for a protein-packed salad featuring a caramelized version of the homely root.
But first, you should know that peeling celeriac is tricky. Because it’s so oddly shaped, and its outer layer is highly irregular, peeling requires a bit of patience. A vegetable peeler will not be up to the job. I use a good paring knife.
Here’s how: Cut off the root and stem ends so that both ends are flat. Peel the bulb like you would any other veggie, but occasionally you’ll find some little “rooty” indentations that need to be dug out a bit more. In these spots, I dig down far enough to extract the roots, but don’t dig all the way to the white. It doesn’t take long to peel celeriac, but it’s just a bit trickier than other veggies.
The good news is that celeriac packs a healthy punch. Here are a few of its benefits.
- is a diuretic
- has lots of Vitamin K
- aids digestion
- has copious copper and potassium, which reduce inflammation
- has omega-3 fatty acids
Here’s an easy, healthy recipe I found in Meatless, a vegetarian cookbook published by Martha Stewart Living. This recipe is vegan and paleo-friendly.
Meatless Monday: French Lentils with Caramelized Celery Root
- 2 cups cold water
- 3/4 cup French green lentils
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium celery root (about 1 pound), washed well, peeled, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 small shallot, minced
- coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Bring water and lentils to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat, and gently simmer, partially covered, until lentils are just tender, 27 to 30 minutes. Drain lentils, and transfer to a medium bowl.
Meanwhile, heat 1 teaspoon oil in a medium nonstick high-sided skillet over medium heat. Cook celery root, stirring occasionally, until caramelized, 18 to 20 minutes.
Add celery root to bowl with lentils. Stir in parsley, lemon juice, shallot, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and remaining tablespoon oil. Let cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.