07-02-14_celeryslaw.jpgThis recipe is from the February 2007 issue of Gourmet. I guess I’m always excited by opportunities to use celery root; this is that ugly, knobby orb that doesn’t look like it’s good for anything but being dirty. Here’s a definition from Answers.com.

Celeraic [seh-LER-ee-ak] This rather ugly, knobby, brown vegetable is actually the root of a special celery cultivated specifically for its root. It’s also called celery root, celery knob and knob celery. Celeriac tastes like a cross between a strong celery and parsley. It’s available from September through May and can range anywhere from the size of an apple to that of a small cantaloupe. Choose a relatively small, firm celeriac with a minimum of rootlets and knobs. Avoid those with soft spots, which signal decay. The inedible green leaves are usually detached by the time you buy celeriac. Refrigerate the root in a plastic bag for 7 to 10 days. Celeriac can be eaten raw or cooked. Before using, peel and soak briefly in acidulated water to prevent discoloration. To eat raw, grate or shred celeriac and use in salads. Cooked, it’s wonderful in soups, stews and purees. It can also be boiled, braised, sauteed and baked. Celeriac contains small amounts of vitamin B, calcium and iron.

You should definitely not peel a celery root with a vegetable peeler -- this would just mangle your tool. Instead, use a sharp knife to carve the outer layer off of the root. Once you take care of this part, the quarters are easy to shred in the food processor.

Pecans are always magnificent to use, I think. Just make sure not to burn them when you toast them. Rather than using the oven, I brown them in a carefully watched frying pan on top of the stove. I use the food processor to chop these as well.

Dave thought the salad was under-dressed: i.e. “too dry.” I don’t necessarily agree with this critique, because too often, I overdress my salads. It was nice to produce a modest version this time. You could probably double the dressing, without doing any harm.

RECIPE: should be at the top of your “slaw” list (What?! You don’t have a “slaw” list?)
the food processor takes care of the nuts and celeraic; this is quick!
crunchy and clean, with darling shallots and pecans adding the pizazz

Alright, let’s go back to the January 2007 issue of Gourmet, for the “Braised Chicken with Artichokes and Peas.” Come back on Tuesday, March 13, to see my results. Meanwhile, let me know how you’re cooking…