What Is Celeriac and How Do I Use It?

what is celeriac,
19 min reading time

Have you ever heard of celeriac? If not, you’re not alone. This lesser-known root vegetable is often overlooked in the produce aisle, but it shouldn’t be! With its unique flavor and versatility in the kitchen, celeriac is a must-try ingredient for any home cook.

Celeriac, also known as celery root, is a brown, knobby root vegetable that’s similar in appearance to a turnip. However, unlike a turnip, celeriac has a distinct flavor that crosses celery and parsley. It’s a great source of vitamins and minerals, making it a healthy addition to any diet.

So, just how do you use celeriac in your cooking? The possibilities are endless! In this article, we’ll explore what Is celeriac, the different varieties of celeriac, its nutritional benefits, and offer tips and techniques for using it in everything from soups and stews to baked goods and international cuisines.

Key Takeaways

  • Celeriac is a lesser-known root vegetable with a unique flavor that’s a cross between celery and parsley.
  • Celeriac is a great source of vitamins and minerals, making it a healthy addition to any diet.
  • Celeriac is a versatile ingredient that can be used in everything from soups and stews to baked goods and international cuisines.
  • In the following sections, we’ll explore the different varieties of celeriac, its nutritional benefits, and offer tips and techniques for using it in your cooking.

Celeriac: Varieties, Storage, and Preparation

Celeriac, also known as celery root, belongs to the same family as celery but is less commonly used in cooking. It is a root vegetable that has a tan, rough exterior and a creamy white interior with a mild celery-like flavor. Celeriac is available in different varieties, each with unique characteristics that can affect its usage and storage.

Celeriac Varieties

The two most common varieties of celeriac are the French and Dutch types. The French variety is smaller, with a smoother skin and a rounder shape, while the Dutch variety is larger, with a rougher skin and a more elongated shape.

Celeriac Storage

Celeriac can be stored for several weeks in a cool, dry place, such as a root cellar. It can also be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, wrapped in a paper towel and placed in a plastic bag. To prevent spoilage, it is important to remove any green shoots or leaves before storing.

Celeriac Preparation

Celeriac requires some preparation before it can be used in cooking. Begin by peeling the rough skin with a sharp knife or a vegetable peeler. Next, remove any tough, fibrous areas with a small knife. Celeriac can then be sliced, diced, grated, or pureed depending on the recipe. To prevent discoloration, immerse the prepared celeriac in lemon water until ready to use.

Celeriac Nutrition and Benefits

Celeriac may not be as commonly known as other root vegetables, but it certainly packs a nutritional punch. This underrated ingredient is low in calories but high in fiber, making it an excellent addition to any balanced diet.

In addition to its fiber content, celeriac is also a great source of vitamin C, vitamin K, phosphorus, and potassium. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps boost the immune system and improve skin health. Vitamin K is essential for blood clotting, while phosphorus and potassium help support healthy bones and muscles.

Studies have also shown that celeriac may have anti-inflammatory properties and can potentially lower cholesterol levels. Its high fiber content can help improve digestion and promote feelings of fullness, making it a great ingredient for weight management.

Overall, incorporating celeriac into your meals can provide numerous health benefits and add a unique flavor and texture to your dishes.

Cooking with Celeriac: Tips and Techniques

what is celeriac,

Celeriac is a versatile root vegetable that can be used in a variety of dishes. Here are some useful tips and techniques to cook with celeriac:

Roasting

To roast celeriac, cut it into wedges or cubes and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast in the oven at 400°F (200°C) for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown and tender. Roasted celeriac can be served as a side dish or added to salads and stews.

Pureeing

Celeriac puree is a delicious and healthy alternative to mashed potatoes. To make celeriac puree, peel and chop the celeriac into small pieces. Boil in salted water until tender, then drain and puree until smooth. Add butter and cream for a rich and creamy texture, or use chicken broth for a lighter version.

Grating

Celeriac can be grated and used raw in salads or coleslaw. It adds a refreshing crunch and a slightly nutty flavor to any dish. To grate celeriac, first peel the skin with a sharp knife or vegetable peeler. Then, grate the celeriac using a box grater or food processor.

Soups and Stews

Celeriac is a great addition to soups and stews. Its earthy flavor pairs well with other root vegetables like carrots, potatoes and parsnips. To use celeriac in soups and stews, peel and chop the celeriac into small pieces, then add it to the pot with other vegetables and broth. Cook until the celeriac is soft and tender.

Baking

Celeriac can be used in baking, adding a moist and nutty flavor to bread and cakes. To use celeriac in baking, peel and chop the celeriac into small pieces. Boil in salted water until tender, then puree until smooth. Use the puree in place of some of the liquid in your favorite bread or cake recipe.

By following these simple techniques, you can easily incorporate celeriac into your favorite dishes. Experiment with different cooking methods to discover your favorite way to use this versatile root vegetable!

Celeriac in Soups and Stews

Celeriac’s earthy and slightly nutty flavor makes it an ideal addition to soups and stews. Its creamy texture also adds richness to the dish. Try using celeriac in classic French soups like potage or in hearty stews like beef bourguignon.

Here’s a recipe for a comforting celeriac soup:

Celeriac and Apple Soup
Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 large celeriac, peeled and chopped
2 apples, peeled and chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:
1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
2. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until softened.
3. Add the celeriac and apple to the pot and stir to combine.
4. Pour in the broth and bring to a boil.
5. Reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
6. Using an immersion blender or regular blender, puree the soup until smooth.
7. Stir in the heavy cream and season with salt and pepper.
8. Serve hot with crusty bread.

Celeriac can also be used in chunky soups, like a vegetable soup with beans or lentils. It adds a nice depth of flavor and complements the other vegetables in the mix.

In stews, try using celeriac in place of or in addition to potatoes. It pairs well with beef, veal, lamb, or even chicken. The natural sweetness of celeriac balances out the savory flavors in the stew.

Overall, celeriac’s versatility makes it a great ingredient to experiment with in soups and stews. Try it out in your favorite recipes or create something new and unique!

Celeriac in Salads and Slaws

If you’re looking to add some crunch and depth of flavor to your salads and slaws, celeriac is a perfect addition. This root vegetable can be eaten raw or cooked, and its unique taste is sure to take your dish to the next level.

Try this recipe: Shaved Celeriac and Apple Slaw

IngredientsInstructions
  • 1 medium celeriac (peeled and thinly sliced)
  • 2 medium Granny Smith apples (peeled, cored, and thinly sliced)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)
  1. In a large bowl, combine the sliced celeriac, sliced Granny Smith apples, and chopped parsley.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, honey, apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper until well combined.
  3. Pour the dressing over the celeriac and apple mixture and toss until everything is evenly coated.
  4. Chill the slaw in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving.

This refreshing slaw is perfect for a summertime BBQ or as a side dish for a hearty winter meal. The combination of celeriac and apple provides a unique flavor profile that is satisfying and delicious.

Tips:

  1. Use a mandoline or food processor to thinly slice the celeriac and apples for consistent texture.
  2. Try adding other ingredients, such as raisins or toasted nuts, to add more complexity to the dish.
  3. Serve the slaw alongside grilled chicken or fish for a complete meal.

Celeriac in Salads and Slaws

Celeriac is a versatile ingredient that can add a unique and delicious crunch to your salads and slaws. Here are some tasty recipes to try:

Celeriac and Apple Slaw

Combine peeled and julienned celeriac with thinly sliced apples and red onions. Dress with a mixture of mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, and honey. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy as a side dish or as a sandwich filling.

Celeriac, Carrot, and Radish Salad

Shave peeled celeriac, carrots, and radishes using a mandoline or vegetable peeler. Toss with a simple dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, and honey. Top with chopped parsley and toasted slivered almonds.

Celeriac and Beet Salad

Roast peeled and cubed celeriac and beets in the oven until tender. Toss with arugula, crumbled goat cheese, and a balsamic vinaigrette. Enjoy as a light lunch or as a side dish to grilled meats.

For those looking for a healthier alternative to traditional slaws, celeriac can also be used as a substitute for cabbage. Simply shred the peeled celeriac using a food processor or box grater and use in your favorite slaw recipe.

Experiment with different combinations of flavors and ingredients to create your own unique celeriac salads and slaws!

Celeriac in Stir-Fries and Roasted Dishes

Celeriac is a fantastic addition to stir-fries and roasted dishes, bringing a unique flavor and texture to these dishes. Here are some recipes and tips to help you incorporate celeriac into your next stir-fry or roasted dish.

Stir-Fry

Celeriac adds a satisfying crunch to stir-fries and pairs well with various proteins. Here’s a recipe to try:

IngredientsInstructions
  • 1 celeriac, peeled and chopped into thin slices
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, honey, cornstarch, and broth.
  2. Heat the oil in a wok or large pan over high heat.
  3. Add the celeriac, bell pepper, onion, and garlic to the wok and stir-fry for 5-7 minutes or until the vegetables are tender-crisp.
  4. Add the soy sauce mixture to the wok and stir-fry for another 1-2 minutes or until the sauce thickens.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve hot.

Roasted Dishes

Celeriac can also be roasted for a delicious side dish or a hearty addition to salads. Here’s a recipe to try:

IngredientsInstructions
  • 1 celeriac, peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. In a bowl, toss the celeriac with olive oil, garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper until evenly coated.
  3. Spread the celeriac out in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes, flipping the celeriac halfway through, until golden and tender.
  5. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste and serve hot.

With these recipes and techniques, you can enjoy the unique flavor and texture of celeriac in your favorite stir-fries and roasted dishes. Get creative and experiment with different combinations to find your perfect celeriac dish!

Celeriac in Baked Goods

Celeriac may not be an obvious choice when it comes to baking, but it can add a unique flavor and texture to bread, cakes, and other treats. Here are some interesting recipes to try:

Celeriac Bread

what is celeriac,- celeriac    bread
Source: lovinghomemade.com
IngredientsInstructions
  • 1 cup grated celeriac
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  1. In a large bowl, mix together flour, salt, sugar, and yeast.
  2. Add grated celeriac and olive oil to the bowl and mix well.
  3. Add warm water to the bowl and knead the dough for about 10 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic.
  4. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and let it rise for 1 hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a loaf pan.
  6. Punch the dough down and form it into a loaf shape.
  7. Place the loaf in the greased pan and let it rise for another 30 minutes.
  8. Bake the bread for 30-35 minutes until golden brown.

You can also experiment with adding celeriac to cakes and muffins. Try adding grated celeriac to carrot cake batter for a unique twist on a classic dessert, or add it to muffins with chopped nuts and cinnamon for a delicious breakfast treat.

Tip: When baking with celeriac, be sure to grate it finely to avoid large chunks in your finished product. Also, keep in mind that the flavor of celeriac can be quite strong, so use it in moderation until you find the right balance for your taste.

Celeriac as a Base for Stocks and Sauces

Celeriac is a fantastic ingredient to use as a base for creating delicious stocks and sauces. Its earthy flavor and unique texture add depth and richness to any recipe. Here are some recipes and techniques to infuse your cooking with the essence of this versatile ingredient.

Celeriac Stock

To make celeriac stock, start by peeling and chopping one medium-sized celeriac into small cubes. Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat and add the celeriac pieces. Cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally, until the celeriac is slightly browned. Add one chopped onion, two chopped carrots, and two chopped celery stalks to the pot. Pour in eight cups of water and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and let simmer for one hour. Strain the stock through a fine-mesh sieve and discard the solid ingredients. Use immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week or in the freezer for up to three months.

Celeriac Sauce

Celeriac sauce is perfect for serving with roasted meats or vegetables. Start by peeling and chopping one medium-sized celeriac into small cubes. In a saucepan, melt four tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the celeriac pieces and cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally, until slightly browned. Pour in one cup of chicken or vegetable broth and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 20 minutes, or until the celeriac is very tender. Use an immersion blender or transfer the mixture to a blender and blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve hot.

Celeriac Gravy

Celeriac gravy is a delicious alternative to traditional gravy, perfect for serving with roasted meats or mashed potatoes. Start by peeling and chopping one medium-sized celeriac into small cubes. In a saucepan, melt four tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the celeriac pieces and cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally, until slightly browned. Add three tablespoons of flour and stir constantly for one minute to make a roux. Pour in two cups of chicken or vegetable broth and whisk to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 20 minutes, or until the celeriac is very tender. Use an immersion blender or transfer the mixture to a blender and blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve hot.

Celeriac Aioli

Celeriac aioli is a delicious dip or spread that pairs perfectly with vegetables, crackers, or bread. Start by peeling and chopping one medium-sized celeriac into small cubes. In a saucepan, bring four cups of water to a boil. Add the celeriac pieces and let boil for five minutes, or until very tender. Drain the celeriac and transfer it to a blender or food processor. Add two cloves of minced garlic, two tablespoons of lemon juice, one teaspoon of Dijon mustard, one teaspoon of honey, and one egg yolk. Blend until smooth. With the blender or food processor running, slowly pour in 1/2 cup of olive oil and blend until emulsified. Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve chilled.

These are just some of the many ways to use celeriac as a base for creating flavorful stocks and sauces. Experiment with different ingredients and techniques to create your own unique recipes and enhance the flavors in your cooking.

  • Celeriac stock
  • Celeriac sauce
  • Celeriac gravy
  • Celeriac aioli

Celeriac in International Cuisines

Celeriac may not be a household name in the United States, but this versatile root vegetable is a staple in many international cuisines. Let’s take a trip around the world and explore the different ways celeriac is used in various cultures.

French Cuisine

In France, celeriac is a classic ingredient in dishes such as céleri rémoulade, a refreshing salad made with grated celeriac and a tangy mustard sauce. It’s also commonly used in stews and soups like pot-au-feu, a hearty beef soup.

Middle Eastern Cuisine

In Middle Eastern cuisine, celeriac is often used in vegetarian dishes, roasted with other vegetables like eggplant and bell peppers. It’s also a key ingredient in kofta, a ground meat mixture that’s commonly served on skewers.

Indian Cuisine

Celeriac isn’t traditionally used in Indian cuisine, but it can provide a unique twist to some classic dishes. For example, adding celeriac to aloo gobi, a spiced potato and cauliflower dish, can add an extra layer of flavor and texture.

Italian Cuisine

In Italy, celeriac is often used in soups and stews, as well as in salads like insalata di sedano rapa, a refreshing combination of celeriac, lemon juice, and olive oil. It’s also a popular ingredient in risotto, adding a subtle nutty flavor.

Asian Cuisine

In Asian cuisine, celeriac is often used in stir-fries and curries. Its mild flavor and crunchy texture make it a great addition to dishes like pad Thai or kung pao chicken. It can also be pickled or fermented, adding a tangy flavor to dishes like kimchi.

With its versatility and widespread use in international cuisines, celeriac is truly a global ingredient that deserves a spot in your kitchen. Try incorporating it into your favorite dishes or experimenting with new recipes to discover its full potential.

Conclusion

Celeriac may not be a widely recognized vegetable, but it certainly deserves a place in your culinary repertoire. With its distinct flavor and versatile nature, celeriac can enhance and elevate a wide variety of dishes. Whether you are a professional chef or a home cook, celeriac can add excitement and creativity to your cooking.

From its nutritional benefits to its diverse culinary uses, celeriac is truly a secret ingredient worth exploring. So why not give it a try? Experiment with different recipes and techniques, and discover the unique ways in which celeriac can transform your meals.

Embracing the versatility of celeriac

By incorporating celeriac into your cooking, you can add a new dimension of flavor and texture to your dishes. From soups and stews to salads and slaws, celeriac can be used in many different ways to create memorable and delicious meals.

Furthermore, celeriac can be a healthier alternative to other ingredients in certain recipes. For example, using mashed celeriac instead of mashed potatoes can reduce the caloric content of your meal while still delivering a creamy and satisfying texture.

Unlocking the potential of celeriac

Celeriac is a versatile ingredient that can be used in many different types of cuisine. Whether you are exploring French classics or Middle Eastern delicacies, celeriac can add an exciting new dimension to your dishes.

With its rich flavor and unique texture, celeriac can also be used as a base for stocks and sauces, infusing your cooking with a depth of taste that is sure to impress your guests.

So why not unlock the potential of celeriac and see what this secret ingredient can do for you? You may just be surprised by the delicious and creative possibilities that it presents.

FAQ

How do I use celeriac?

Celeriac can be used in a variety of ways. It can be roasted, pureed, used in soups and stews, added to salads and slaws, and even used as a substitute for mashed potatoes. The possibilities are endless!

What are the different varieties of celeriac?

There are several different varieties of celeriac, including Giant Prague, Brilliant, and Ibis. Each variety may have slight differences in flavor and texture, but all can be used in similar ways.

How should I store celeriac?

Celeriac should be stored in a cool, dry place, such as a cellar or refrigerator. It can last for several weeks if stored properly.

What are the nutritional benefits of celeriac?

Celeriac is a good source of fiber, vitamins C and K, and minerals such as potassium and phosphorus. It is also low in calories, making it a healthy addition to your diet.

Can I use celeriac in baked goods?

Yes, you can incorporate celeriac into baked goods such as bread and cakes. It adds a unique flavor and moisture to your baked goods.

Are there any alternatives to mashed potatoes using celeriac?

Yes, celeriac can be used as a healthier alternative to mashed potatoes. Simply boil or steam the celeriac, then mash it as you would potatoes. You can add butter, milk, or other desired ingredients for added flavor.

How is celeriac used in international cuisines?

Celeriac is used in a variety of international cuisines. In French cuisine, it is often used in dishes like remoulade and celeriac gratin. In Middle Eastern cuisine, it is used in dishes like the Lebanese salad Tabbouleh.

Can I use celeriac as a base for stocks and sauces?

Absolutely! Celeriac can add depth and flavor to stocks and sauces. Simply chop it up and add it to your simmering liquid to infuse it with the essence of celeriac.

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