Winter in the northeast gives us a bounty of root veggies to get us through the cold months—and many of them are also downright funny-looking. Celeriac is one of those! Many people avoid buying it because it’s not the prettiest veggie, and they don’t know how to cook with it. Definitely include it on your next shopping trip because this super root is loaded with great nutrition. One cup of raw celeriac is an excellent source of vitamins C and K and a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin B6, potassium, phosphorus, and manganese.
As the name suggests, celeriac is a variety of celery grown for its roots. It’s typically round and bulbous, about the size of a large grapefruit, with a light brown skin and white flesh. Celeriac takes about 4 months from seed to harvest. We typically plant the seeds directly into the ground in April or May at the Barn. Below the ground, the globular root forms, while above ground, long, green celery-like stalks shoot upward. Once harvested, the root can be stored for months if kept cold.
You’ll have to peel away a pretty thick layer of tough exterior to get to the real flesh of this vegetable—but it’s worth it. Celeriac is not quite as starchy as other root veggies, but can be cooked in the same ways: roasted, boiled and mashed, or eaten raw. It’s a great soup ingredient (use in place of celery for winter soups) when pureed with a flavorful stock. And because it’s less starchy than potatoes, you can lighten up your favorite mashed potato recipe by using a combination of celeriac and potatoes.
Do you cook with celeriac? What’s your favorite way to prepare it?
Celeriac Oven Fries
Adapted from www.bbcgoodfood.com
2 large celeriac (about 3 lbs total weight)
3 tbsp canola oil
1 tbsp mild curry powder
- Preheat the oven to 425F degrees.
- Bring a very large saucepan of salted water to a boil.
- Peel the celeriac, slicing off the top and bottom and sweeping down the sides with a heavy, sharp knife to remove the tough skin. Cut the celeriac into thumb-thick slices and then into fat wedges.
- Throw in the wedges and blanch (boil rapidly, uncovered, for 1-2 minutes). Drain the wedges and toss them back into the saucepan. Add the oil, curry powder and sea salt. Toss until well coated.
- Spread the wedges over a large heavy baking sheet, leaving plenty of space (you may need 2 sheets). Cook for 30-35 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender and browned.
Makes 6 servings
Nutrition Facts per serving: 160 calories; 8g fat (0.5g sat fat, 5g mono, 2.5g poly, 0g trans fat); 0mg cholesterol; 21g carbohydrate (4g fiber, 4g sugar); 4g protein; 230mg sodium; 0% Daily Value (DV) vitamin A; 30% DV vitamin C; 10% DV calcium; 10% DV iron.