Celery root, also called celeriac, is a winter vegetable that is highly valued in European cuisine. No winter stew or vegetable stock is complete without a chunk of celery root. In recent years celery root can also be purchased in our region, but only in winter months. Because it is so little known here, it is not sold at local farmers’ markets but can be found in most grocery stores. Stock up while you can!
Celery has a woodsy flavor and is also full of nutrients. High in fiber, calcium, vitamins K and C, and several antioxidants, its delicate flavor will surprise you. In France, it is often made into a classic Celeriac remoulade. (You can find the recipe below).
What are Capers?
Capers are edible flower buds, or larger berries, that are brined like olives and are prized for their distinctive, lemony flavor. They are cultivated mainly in Sicily, Morocco, and Spain. First mentioned as a food 2,000 B.C.E. in the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh, capers to this day are a part of a healthy Mediterranean diet. Capers for their high content of vitamin A, K, niacin, riboflavin, and two antioxidant compounds, Rutin and Quercetin. Capers are high in vitamins A, K, niacin, riboflavin, and two antioxidant compounds, Rutin and Quercetin and are believed to aid gastric digestion of meats. Capers can be found in many classic dishes such as Italian Chicken and Veal Piccata or Spaghetti Puttanesca, or French Salade Niçoise. They are very salty; a few Capers go a long way. Capers are inexpensive and available in small jars in your local grocery store.
French Celery Root Remoulade
Celery is usually consumed cooked, but this version of raw celery salad is delicious and very easy to make.
Mayonnaise: You can use a jar of store-bought mayo, or you can practice and experiment with a homemade mayonnaise here.
1 – 2 celery roots (celeriac)
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon mustard (Dijon is the classic here)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Salt and black pepper to taste
Gather all of your ingredients:
Celery root is available in most grocery stores’ produce sections throughout the winter months. They keep in the refrigerator for several weeks or can be frozen for summer use.
The gnarly root needs to be peeled like a potato, and all the nooks and crannies cleaned well.
Capers come in two varieties. Smaller capers are the immature flower buds of the bush, and caper berries and flower buds that were let to mature. They are harvested with their stems attached and can be eaten whole, including the seeds.
It is important that you use a grater that will cut the celery root into even small pieces. If they are too small, they will lose their crunch; if they are too large, the woody taste can be overwhelming. Do not overdress! Start with a small amount of mayo, and you can always add more.
Mix together all ingredients and adjust according to your liking by adding more lemon juice if too thick.
Store celery root salad in the refrigerator for up to two days.
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