02 March 2015

HOW DO YOU DO: C E L E R I A C

Poor celeriac. It can't walk into a room without inciting a slew of comments about its appearance; looking at it can feel like an ordeal in and of itself. Add the peeling and the roasting and the mashing and I usually don't even bother – there have been two, in recent memory, that I catapulted into the trashcan a shadow of their former selves, all shriveled and hard and even weirder-looking then when they arrived.

My last trip to the Farmer's Market coincided with some seriously MIZ weather; it was sleeting and windy and I ran through mechanically, grabbing staples like onions and kale and just trying to get home as fast as I could. Against all plans/common sense, the celeriac gave me pause. They're enormous right now, for one thing, but as I stood there, coat and hat getting wetter by the second and one glove lost to the city forever, I actually related to the fucking thing. It looked like I felt, which was OVER IT, unhappy to be part of the Winter landscape, and wishing it had just stayed underground. And so I took one home.

I was in a far better state when I went to DO SOMETHING with my new vegetable-friend, and if I can wax on for a moment: once peeled, its s m e l l is a reward – fresh and light and totally unexpected from that wintry, wintry root-thing, and it tastes just the same. I'd come across a few recipes that suggested serving it raw (and they were right); a quick grate, a lemon-mustard dressing, and some sea salt + pepper later and my mood was lifted entirely. There's an analogy in there about Winter and Spring and hope and perseverance but frankly I'm too cold to find it. I got us partway there, though, didn't I?

This insanely simple slaw recipe is great as a side (we ate it with roasted chicken and red cabbage), and will keep in the fridge overnight, too.

C E L E R I A C + L E M O N - M U S T A R D  D R E S S I N G

1 large Celeriac Root, skinned + quartered
1 tbsp. Whole Grain Mustard
a few glugs of Olive Oil
juice from 1/2 lemon (more if desired)
Sea Salt + fresh Black Pepper to taste

1. Grate the celeraic onto a paper towel, and use the towel to squeeze out excess water when done.
2. Transfer to a bowl and grate black pepper to taste.
3. In a small bowl, mix mustard, lemon, olive oil and sea salt to desired proportions.
4. Drizzle dressing, fluff with a fork, and serve.


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