Do you know the difference between celery and celery root? Both have a very similar flavor, but celery root or celeriac, as it is also known, is prized for its gnarly cream-colored root. It doesn't nearly have the long and wide stalks as celery does, but it does have some very aromatic and flavorful greenery. The root is great cooked in soups and stews or roasted until tender—it gets sweet and almost caramelized from the high heat.
If you've never had celeriac, it's worth searching out, especially since it's in season right now. Not only do I like to use the root and leaves to flavor recipes, but I also like it raw in the classic French dish of céleri rémoulade, basically a creamy slaw of celery root. Once you try it, you might even prefer it to coleslaw.
French chefs would have you julienne the celery root to make the perfect version of the dish. But a grater or a food processor with the shredder attachment works even better not to mention more quickly. I prefer the food processor because the results look julienned. This slaw is quite wonderful with roast meats, fried chicken, seared fish, and charcuterie.
Celeriac Slaw or Céleri Rémoulade
1 celery root (about 1-1/4 pounds)
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon sour cream
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
fine sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped chervil or parsley, plus more for garnish
Peel the celeriac. Cut into manageable chunks and grate using a box grater or food processor with the shredder attachment. Add to a large bowl.
In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, and mustard. Season with salt and pepper and mix in chervil. Pour dressing over grated celeriac and toss to coat. Cover and chill until cold, about 1 hour. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with additional chervil. Yield: 4 servings.