Monday, February 15, 2010

Celery Root

Celery Root is one of my favorite winter vegetables. Typically knobby, dirty, and a little hairy on the outside, this fragrant and sweet root vegetable is a culinary treasure on the inside. Treat it as a potato and mash it, roast it, or fry it. Treat it like regular old celery and chop to add a pungent twist to salads.

Here is a great salad recipe for a winter meal. It works great on greens or on its own. Crisp and naturally sweet, the apples and fennel are a nice counterpoint to the dense and fragrant celery root. The hazelnut vinaigrette is simple and aromatic. Love this salad and it will love you back.

Celery Root, Apple, and Fennel Salad
with Hazelnut Vinaigrette

adapted from a recipe found in Bon Appetit magazine
(The original recipe was very white in color. I added the chopped herbs for green, fresh flavor and toasted, chopped hazelnuts for crunch.)

1 medium celery root, peeled and cut into matchstick strips
1 medium fennel bulb, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 unpeeled Gala apple, cut into strips
2 T snipped chives or chopped parsley
Parmesan cheese shavings
½ cup chopped hazelnuts

2 T Dijon mustard
2 T white wine vinegar
1 T fresh lemon juice
½ t sea salt
Minced garlic clove
Freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup hazelnut oil

Toss together salad ingredients in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk together mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, garlic, and pepper. Slowly drizzle in oil while whisking. Taste for seasoning and adjust.

Pour over salad ingredients just before serving and toss together well.

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