You know we love winter salads; we talk about them all the time. Here's one final salad to usher winter out — a tangy, crispy, lemony shredded slaw with the delicate flavor of spring celery. Except it's not made with spring celery, of course: it's made with celery root, that intimidating troll of the farmer's market. But see how pretty it can be?
I whipped up this quick salad in nearly no time at all last night. That knobbly head of celeriac (celery root) had been languishing for over a week, and it was high time to put it to use. Spring is on its way, after all; time to put the root vegetables to rest. I had been planning on a puree or a gratin, but the weather was so springlike I just didn't have the heart for yet another hot dish.
So I peeled the celery root (not as hard as it sounds; see directions here), and then shredded it quickly with a mandoline. My Benriner mandoline slicer has an attachment that slices root vegetables like this into short, flat matchsticks — perfect for a crunchy salad. (Have I mentioned lately how much I love that Benriner? Go buy one: you'll probably find it indispensable too.)
Then I tossed the tender, faintly sweet sticks with a little bit of tangy vinaigrette, parsley, and capers. The final salad had hints of sweetness and fresh celery, with a strong lemon tang and juicy saltiness from those capers. Delicious! You could add a bit of shaved Parmesan if you wanted it richer or saltier, but this salad was the perfect accompaniment as it was. It would go well with richer dinners; we had goat shanks and a rich sauce, and this was light and fresh in comparison.
Quick Celery Root Salad with Capers and Lemon
1 lemon, juiced
1 head celery root, peeled
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons walnut oil
1/4 cup good olive oil
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/3 cup juicy capers, rinsed
Small handful Italian parsley, chopped
Peel the celery root and shred it. Stop halfway through and sprinkle with a tablespoon of the lemon juice to keep the root from turning brown. Shred the other half and toss with another tablespoon of lemon juice. Salt and pepper liberally and toss.
Whisk the remaining lemon juice with the walnut oil, olive oil, sugar, and vinegar. Taste and adjust. Toss with the celery root, capers, and chopped parsley. Serve.