Friday, February 25, 2011

Back to the Roots: Celery Root

Last year at the PSU farmer's market, I was offered a sample of something that looked like a sauteed bamboo shoot.  It turned out that it was actually celery root; the taste was unusual and delicious.  I recently got my hands on one of my own in the hopes of preparing it the same way.

Doesn't it look fascinating?  Almost like an anatomical heart.
While googling preparation instructions, I learned that you can eat celery root raw or cooked.  Either way, it has the unmistakable smell and taste of celery, with the texture and crunch of a carrot.  I learned from my New Whole Foods Enclopedia (no, not that whole foods; just whole foods) that the reason is because it's actually in the carrot family; who knew?  I've since decided that it would make a great and interesting crudite/conversation vegetable.

Peeled, it kind of looks like a giant, off-white strawberry.

I'm just winging it here; no idea of the "right" way to cut it.
The size of the root was deceiving; despite all of the chunks that I ate raw, there was a lot left over to saute.  Prepared with lots of onions, some garlic, salt & pepper, it  had a very pleasant taste but wasn't a huge hit.  I think the celery/carrot novelty wears off relatively quickly, as did my supply of Secret Aardvark- which, coincidentally, pairs extremely well with sauteed celery root.


Having had my fill of the sauteed cubes, I decided to mix the leftovers with some broth in order to make a celery root soup.


not applesauce
Since I don't have a Vitamix (a fact that I am reminded of often by a friend [see comments]), it was significantly chunkier than I presume it should have been.  And the fact that it looked like chunky apple sauce didn't make it very appetizing.  But it was decently pleasant, if not missing a special something that the sauteed dish was missing as well.  Any must-try celery root recipes?  My root preparation seems to leave a lot to be desired.

7 comments:

  1. I hadn't tried celery root until recently either...
    when I was testing soup recipes for http://cookingforaveganlover.com one of the recipes was for a celery root soup, and it was amazing - I think that recipe was included in the ebook.

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  2. I love, love, love celery root, and my favorite way to eat it is sliced, drizzled with a little olive oil and roasted with other veggies like carrot, potato, garlic and squash.

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  3. I can always count on you for a good idea, Andrea; and I love roasted veggies all year 'round.

    Thanks, Ali; I'll check it out!

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  4. I've pretty much only used/had it for soup. I had to peel and cut a ton of them for a Natural Gourmet class I worked, and I couldn't get over how weird they look! Like brains!

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  5. you should get a vitamix!

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  6. Ooh yeah I just tried my first one recently too, in a savory crumble. I boiled it first, then baked it with walnuts, figs, and chopped roasted butternut squash, topped with oats! OMG a dream!
    The soup sounds great, too. I'd love to try that before the weather warms up again.

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