Celeriac, aka celery root, is a whiskery, knobby, weird looking vegetable, easy enough to pass by. But whack through its tough, leathery surface, and find a crisp, white interior that tastes mildly of celery and parsnips with a hint of nuts.
Celeriac is most often shredded and dressed with mayonnaise for the classic French “remoulade.” It’s great in place of celery stalks in soups, pot roasts, and stir fries. You want to choose celeriac that’s heavy and firm, and to use a good knife to remove the thick, gnarled exterior. Celeriac tends to darken once cut, so toss it with a little lemon juice if you’re planning to serve it raw or in a salad. But if you’re looking to transform your gnarled celeriac into a lip-smacking side dish, try this recipe for super healthy fries.
Spicy Celeriac Fries
Serves 4 to 6
1 large celeriac root
¼ cup vegetable oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Lemon wedges for serving
Peel the celeriac and cut into long thin sticks, about 3 inches long by ½-inch wide. Heat the oil in a pan over medium-high heat and add the celeriac sticks, tossing to coat with the oil. Cover the pan, reduce the heat, and cook until the celeriac is just tender, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Remove the lid and sprinkle the celeriac with the spices, salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Continue cooking turning frequently, until the sticks have browned on all sides, about 5 to 10 minutes. Remove, sprinkle with salt, and adjust the seasonings. Serve hot with the lemon wedges or place on a parchment-lined baking sheet in a 300-degree oven until ready to serve.
Find more recipes and articles from Beth Dooley here.