Seasonal Spotlight: Celeriac

This knobby, rather ugly vegetable, more commonly known as celery root, showed up in our CSA this week (Californians had it back in May), and we knew what it was immediately from the scent—like an stronger, earthier celery. Find out what we did with it, below...This bugger is tough to peel—use a knife, not a peeler. We sliced a bit off the bottom, set it upright, and carved down the sides with our chef's knife. Then we chopped away at the finger-like curls on the bottom until the skin was all gone.

We cut the celeriac into big cubes, sliced a few small, red potatoes we had on hand, and boiled both until tender. Then we drained them, mashed them with warmed butter and half and half, seasoned generously with salt and pepper, and served the dish with some roasted chicken breasts.

It was absolutely perfect—lighter and fresher than mashed potatoes but still creamy. We ate far too much, and it didn't sit in our stomach like a rock. And we'll share one weird observation: When the celeriac was boiling, we caught a faint, whiff that was sweet, almost like maple syrup. Are we alone (and scent-challenged)? Hm.

Overall, we're now big fans. Celeriac would be delicious in a gratin, cooked into a frittata, or even sliced and roasted like french fries.

Any other ideas?

Related: Recipe Recommendation: Celery Root Bisque

(Image: Flickr member Benjamin Harrison, licensed under Creative Commons)

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