A cool and crisp salad featuring crunchy thin slices of celery root, celery and apples in a lemon-mustard vinaigrette.
I would venture to guess that most of you have been eating celery all your life. Along with carrots it’s the raw vegetable of choice for dips and nut butters and has probably been in every child’s lunchbox at one point or another. This celery salad however is not that celery.
Yes, it too makes an appearance along with the tender leaves you find at the tops of the long crunchy stalks, but the star of the this particular salad is celery root.
Somehow this knobby, slightly rough around the edges root vegetable has been overlooked and under-appreciated by many. Perhaps it’s not-so-handsome exterior is intimidating, making it seem unapproachably difficult to navigate, but its crisp and delicate taste is worth the venture. The tan colored exterior houses a crisp and creamy white flesh with a flavor reminiscent of celery stalks but milder and with a slight nutty quality.
The mild root appears quite frequently in French cuisine julienned and drenched in a mayonnaise-based dressing under the name céleri rémoulade. It’s a classic there and can be found virtually everywhere but I have to admit it’s never been the most inviting of salads to me. The thick dressing clings to the strands of celery root creating what’s often a soupy salad that becomes soft and soggy.
My celery root salad is a lighter take on the French classic. I’ve swapped out the mayonnaise for a vibrant mustard vinaigrette and paired the celery root with thin slices of crunchy fresh tart apples and crisp celery stalks for a light salad with a clean crunch. Sliced up paper thin and layered with specks of green parsley and a fistful of toasty walnuts it’s fresh and light with a zippy tang and a wonderful accompaniment to those heavier cool-weather meals.
Have you ever had celery root?