Celery Root (Celeriac)

The celery root is a versatile vegetable with a host of nutritional benefits. Read the following article to learn some interesting ways of using this ingredient in your recipes.
Tastessence Staff
Last Updated: Apr 20, 2018
Celery root, or celeriac, is a type of celery, which is cultivated for its large root; not to be confused with the green stalks that you buy as celery. Its botanical name is Apium graveolens var. rapaceum and though it is a root vegetable, it is low in starch content, unlike most other tubers. Nutritionally rich in vitamins and fiber and low in fat, it can be eaten raw in salads or can be used in soups, bakes, stews, and casseroles. It carries the same characteristic flavor as celery stalks, with a slightly nutty aroma, reminiscent of parsley; some people, however, cannot stand its smell or its sharp taste, for whom rutabaga or parsnips work as a good substitute. Following are some recipes of the same:
Celery Root Soup
This is a hearty, nourishing soup recipe, which is perfect for a cold winter evening. This recipe uses apples, which when combined with celeriac is a wonderful blend of flavors that will have you coming back for more. The following preparation serves 4.

Ingredients
  • Butter, 1 tbsp. (unsalted)
  • Celery Root, 4 cups (peeled and cut into small cubes)
  • Cored Granny Smith Apples, 3 cups (peeled)
  • Onion, 1 (large and chopped)
  • Salt, to taste
  • Cracked Black Pepper (fresh), to taste
  • Chicken Stock, 4 cups
  • Buttermilk, ¼ cup
  • White Wine, ¼ cup
  • Thyme, 2 sprigs
  • Olive oil, to garnish
Method
  1. Melt the butter in a large, heavy-bottomed pan until sizzling. Add the onions, and saute for 2 minutes over low heat.
  2. Add the chopped root cubes and the apples and then, saute over medium heat until translucent, taking care of not to brown them.
  3. Add the stock, wine, and the thyme. Bring to a boil and then, lower the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cubes and apples are soft.
  4. Remove it from heat, cool slightly, and then, whiz in a blender until smooth.
  5. Return to the pan, and add the buttermilk, salt, and fresh black pepper.
  6. Serve hot, garnished with a drizzle of olive oil.
Orange and Celery Root Salad
Perhaps, it's the flavor, but there's something about this root vegetable that combines so gorgeously with a slightly tangy fruit that most recipes you will find will have a fruity addition. This recipe is for a fresh summer salad, that will offset a heavy main dish beautifully. The following preparation serves four people.

Ingredients
  • Celeriac, 1 (large)
  • Lemon Juice, 2 tbsp.
  • Lemon Zest, 1 lemon
  • Oranges, 4 (large)
  • Salt, to taste
  • Black Pepper (fresh), to taste
  • Baby Spinach Leaves, 1 (small bunch)
  • Red Onion, 1 (small; halved and very thinly sliced)
  • Fresh Fennel, 2 tbsp. (finely chopped)
  • Orange Juice, ⅓ cup
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 2 tbsp.
  • White Wine Vinegar, 1 tbsp.
Method
  1. Peel the celeriac and cut it into matchsticks. Sprinkle the lemon juice over to prevent it from turning brown; refrigerate.
  2. Peel and deseed the oranges, and using a sharp knife, cut them into thin slices, crosswise.
  3. Place the orange slices, baby spinach leaves, red onion, fennel tips, and lemon zest in a large bowl.
  4. In a jar with a tight lid, mix the olive oil, salt, pepper, orange juice, and white wine vinegar; screw the lid on to close tightly, and then shake well to mix the ingredients.
  5. Place the celeriac on top of the fresh vegetable mixture and drizzle the dressing on top. Serve immediately.
Puree
This is a great accompaniment for roast and grilled meats; the creamy texture is perfect for the dark flavorsome meat, and it is a fabulous variation from the regular fare of chips or mashed potatoes. The following puree preparation serves four people.

Ingredients
  • Celeriac, 1 (large)
  • Potatoes, 2 (large; choose mealy potatoes for mashing)
  • Cream, 100 ml
  • Butter, 3 tbsp.
  • Salt and Fresh Black Pepper, to taste
Method
  1. Peel the celeriac and cut it into large cubes. Peel and cut the potatoes into large chunks. Place both in a large pan of water, add a large pinch of salt, and place on the flame.
  2. Bring to a boil and then, reduce the heat, cover the pan, and simmer for a good fifteen to twenty minutes, or until tender. Drain and mash.
  3. Place the mixture in a wire-meshed sieve and push through using the back of a spoon (you can eliminate this step if it's too much of a bother, but the creamy texture without lumps is truly worth the effort).
  4. Melt the butter in a pan, add the cream and bring to a low simmer. Whisk this into the potato mixture and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
When it comes to its nutritional value, you need to know that celery root is rich in vitamins C, K, and B6, fibre, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous. It is low in fat and cholesterol. Plus, it is a good addition to salads if you are interested in weight loss, as half a cup of raw celeriac contains approximately 30 calories. Boiled with salt and drained, one cup contains 42 calories, of which 2 are from fat. Thus, it can be an interesting variation and a valuable flavor addition to regular recipes. Try out a few ideas and experience a difference in the taste and flavor for the better.