Celery is a crisper staple. Lovingly packed in school lunches, transformed into creative woodland logs with “ants” or soothing a burning mouth after a pile of hot wings, celery is an adaptable, familiar vegetable. As much as we’re fond of it, we’re not here to talk about those crispy, watery stalks.
Yes, it looks like a screaming mandrake pulled from a school garden at Hogwarts, but celery’s root, or celeriac, has a flavor akin to celery with a hint of parsley. Be mindful of soft spots, bruises or little sprouts when choosing the perfect celeriac as they might signify rot. The bulb should also be heavy for the size and its sturdy texture lends hearty results. Try eating celeriac raw, too — tastes like fennel.
- Gramercy Tavern’s celeriac purée — Edible Manhattan
In the words of Gabrielle Langholtz, “You can roast celeriac in chunks, simmer it in soups or shave it raw into slaw. But if you want to gild the lily, whip up this luscious purée from the Gramercy Tavern cookbook (whose apple pie once made our cover). Move over, mashed potatoes. Chef Mike serves this purée as a pillow for roast poultry, braised lamb or those justifiably famous meatballs.”
- Butter bean ragout — Bon Appétit
This is a wonderful make-ahead weeknight meal. Just be sure to leave out the breadcrumbs until warming up to serve; they’ll get soggy otherwise. For an extra filling dinner, try this over buttered polenta.
- The “Not-Too-Virtuous Salad” — Food52
The dressing requires a few extra dishes, but the result is worth it. This super crunchy salad is a treat on its own, or served with anything from roasted chicken to tofu. Have some sourdough ready to sop up the extra dressing.
- Classic celeriac remoulade — Saveur
A Parisian classic that is reminiscent of a tangy cole slaw, this remoulade may not transport you to France, but it will brighten your afternoon. The perfect side dish to have in the refrigerator at all times.
- Pizza Bianca — Bon Appétit
Pizza rarely looks better. Crunch, roasted celeriac and creamy scamorza (a cow milk cheese that’s more pungent than mozzarella) make a beautiful pair on crisped flatbread. Slice the pizza into thinner strips and serve it as a party appetizer.
- Celeriac and potato soup with mushroom salad — Food52
Soup and salad are a classic lunch combo, but it’s rare to find them in the same vessel. When storing leftovers, be sure to put them in separate containers. The soup is wonderful either hot or chilled.
- Roasted celery root — Bon Appétit
When roasted carrots or potatoes become too plebeian for your dinner table, try this instead. Mix celery root with parsnips for an earthier flavor, and don’t be afraid to experiment with adding different herbs. I personally love sage.
- Roast turkey with celery root stuffing — Saveur
It’s never too early to start practicing for Thanksgiving, right? Of course, this meal doesn’t have to be just a special holiday occurrence. If the idea of roasting a big bird along with making the fixings is daunting, make cornish game hens instead. Simply making the stuffing will be rewarding as well — it may even trump your old family recipe.