Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Celeriac Avocado Salad

If you like the taste of celery hearts, celeriac also known as celery root, will delight you. It looks a little knarly and knobby with rough thin green stalks growing out of the top but is quite kind hearted.  You will know it because smells so deeply of celery.

It can be cubed and boiled or even mashed and mixed with other root vegetables.  It is most famous in the dish Celariac Remoulade.  I’ve updated the classic remoulade sauce with some avocado and cilantro.  The original recipe calls for crème fraiche.  Use a good plain yogurt if you do not have crème fraiche on hand.

How to tackle celeriac.
Cut off the stems (great to steep into soup or broth, too stringy to stand in for celery stalks).  Have ready the juice of half a lemon in a bowl.  Cut away any uneven roots at the bottom of the plant.  Using a vegetable peeler, peel away the thin skin. Slice off a thin section from the side so that you have a stable base when placed on a cutting board.  Cut slices as thinly as possible.  When you have 5-6 slices, stack them and cut into matchsticks.  Place the matchsticks into the lemon juice and toss.  Continue slicing the celeriac in batches of 5-6 slices.  This will keep the match sticks from oxidizing and turning brown before they are dressed. A medium celeriac provides about 1 1/2 cups match sticks, enough for 4 side servings.

Celeriac Salad
Serves 4

1 celeriac peeled and cut in match sticks, coated juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon yogurt
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 avocado, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons fresh herbs- dill, cilantro, parsley
salt and pepper

Method
  1. Place celeriac match sticks tossed with lemon juice in a medium bowl.  
  2. In a separate small bowl, mix remaining ingredients to create the thick dressing.  Taste for seasoning.  Pour dressing over celeriac and toss well.  
  3. Store in refrigerator at least 1/2 before serving and not more than a day.