Home Style Celeriac

I’ll be the first to admit that this knobby little vegetable had me guessing that it wasn’t the most appetizing item to add to a menu, but after trying it for the first time, I was instantly and completely won over.

The taste is like a wild version of the traditional celery, and cooked in this Turkish style, the sweet and earthy flavors meld so well together over a hot bed of rice. Although this often-overlooked root vegetable grows all winter long, my absolute favorite time to have this dish is in the early spring, right before it goes out of season.

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Celeriac is arguably one of the more obscure root vegetables but has been gaining in popularity in the last few years, and like most things in the world with tough exteriors, when stripped away, reveal a mild and gentle core. It can be used raw in salads, or cooked in stews, soups, as an aromatic for sauces, riced, mashed, or pureed, or any other way that you might use a potato. The bonus with this delicious veggie is that the celeriac is high in fiber, vitamin C, and folic acid making it a great addition to your own repertoire of cold season dishes.

Unfortunately, celeriac can become bitter if not prepared properly, so upon giving the outside a good wash, scrub off as much dirt and debris as possible. Soak in a large container of water, wrapping the stems so that they, too, are submerged for just a few minutes. The sand and dirt will then fall to the bottom of the bowl. Do this at least three times.

Remove the green stalks from the celery root, if included. Honestly, I’m not sure why they would sell the root without the green stalks, because they’re just as delicious!

Begin to peel off the exterior and cut just enough of it off to reveal the smooth, white flesh inside.

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Next, cut the white part of the vegetable into cubes and submerge in a bowl of water with a tablespoon of lemon juice while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. (This prevents browning.) Also, begin to bring a small pot of water to the boil. Add the cubes of celeriac and boil just until tender. Remove and drain on a paper towel.

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Wash, peel, and slice the potato, onion, carrot, celery stalks and garlic. In a medium-sized pot, saute the onion in a tablespoon of oil for roughly three minutes, until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds before adding the rest of the vegetables and stir over medium high heat for 3 more minutes. Add the hot chicken broth just enough to cover and boil until tender.

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Next, squeeze the juice from two mandarin oranges into a small bowl. Add the juice and the celery root to the dish and stir to combine. Heat again to a gentle boil, then remove from the heat. Serve over hot buttered rice.

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Not only is this dish incredibly comforting, it’s bright, cheerful, and has wonderful nutrition for the cool spring nights.

Let me know what you thought about the dish in the comments below!

 

Home Style Celeriac

1 whole celeriac, stalks included,
2 potatoes
3 carrots
1 medium yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups chicken broth
2 mandarin oranges, juiced
salt, pepper to taste

Wash, peel, and cube the vegetables. Begin to bring a small pot of water to the boil. Add the cubes of celeriac and boil just until tender. Remove and drain on a paper towel.

In a medium-sized pot, saute the onion in a tablespoon of oil for roughly three minutes, until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds before adding the rest of the vegetables and stir over medium high heat for 3 more minutes. Add the hot chicken broth just enough to cover and boil until tender.

Next, squeeze the juice from two mandarin oranges into a small bowl. Add the juice and the celery root to the dish and stir to combine. Heat again to a gentle boil, then remove from the heat. Serve over hot buttered rice.