Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Celeriac


A relatively lovely specimen, from marcwomm on flickr

Celeriac is one ugly bugger. It's a knobby, tangly, dirty root hiding beneath a mop of straggly greens. Why I selected it from the assortment of root vegetables adorning the winter vegetable display at the farmers market is a bit of mystery - perhaps I felt sorry for the homely little guy. All I can say is, I'm glad that something prompted me to bring this sad specimen home. Because hiding beneath the gruff exterior is a unique and enjoyable flavor experience.

I decided to try my hand at adapting a traditional French preparation for celeriac - the remoulade. It took a bit of work, but I didn't mind. I lopped off the greens and made myself a green juice (celeriac tops, 1 apple and 1/2 a lemon) to fuel me up for a culinary task at hand. Then I simply cut away all of the gnarly exterior. What was left resembled a turnip or swede. The celeriac was treated to a quick grating (I used a box grater, but I sure am missing the grater attachment to my food processor that is buried in a box somewhere from my last move) and set aside.

A traditional remoulade is dressed with a garlicky mayonnaise. Since I'm not averse to the idea of raw egg, I've tried this before. But I found the results to be so rich that eating it made me feel kind of sick. So I decided to make a lighter version of the creamy, garlicky dressing using avocado as the base, with an assortment of seasonings including parsley from the garden and fresh raw organic garlic (I'm definitely going through a garlic phase at the moment, eating about 1 clove a day...hopefully nobody's noticed). The resulting dressing packs a lot more nutrition and is easier on the stomach than the original.

I tossed the dressing with the grated celeriac and, voila! A lighter, brighter version of celeriac remoulade. Yeah, it looks a little bit greener than the traditional type, but in the raw food world we're used to our food having a slight tinge of green.
Light, Bright Celeriac Remoulade

If you haven't tackled celeriac yet, I urge you to try it. Its flavor has hints of celery, but nuttier and sweeter. Once you cut away the exterior, it is really easy to handle, and has such an unusual taste that is really surprising. Don't let its funny looks deceive you.

Light, Bright Celeriac Remoulade

1 celeriac root, trimmed
1/2 avocado
3 Tbsp olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp himalayan salt
1 tsp tamari or nama shoyu
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1 Tbsp mustard
1 clove garlic
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Grate celeriac into a bowl. Set aside.

Combine avocado, olive oil, lemon juice, himalayan salt, tamari, nutritional yeast, mustard and garlic in food processor. Whir until smooth. Add parsley and pulse until just combined.

Toss dressing with grated celeriac. Serves 2 as a side or 1 as a big meal.

1 comment:

Annie said...

I cannot wait to try this one!

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