If this recipe caught your eye and you aren’t familiar with Celeriac, or “Celery root”, you might want to do a web search on it. Although it is in the same family as celery, it is not the root of the celery plant, but a root vegetable all of its own. It is low in calories and high in nutritional value.
The featured image of this recipe is from restaurant in Paris where Celeriac Remoulade is a popular starter in bistros, brasseries, as well as traditional restaurants. We had made a starter at Kerrouet House Cooking School featuring celeriac remoulade which reminded me how much I have enjoyed that dish while eating out, but it has not been part of my own repertoire.(click on name for a link to read more about the cooking school).
Celery root is available in local markets in my area and it can vary in size. A pound of celery root will make up about 3 cups of matchstick slices. Below is a photograph of two locally purchased celery roots. One still gnarled and ugly, the bigger one which did weigh a little over a pound is a little more trimmed…To make celeriac remoulade you need to make a remoulade sauce which is nothing more than mayonnaise which has a little oomph added to it. (click on the word mayonnaise for a link to a homemade mayonnaise recipe)
Remoulade sauce is known in America for its Louisiana roots. The basis is mayonnaise to which each and every home cook or chef adds his/her own variation. At the Kerrouet House Cooking School chef Poul simply made it with equal parts mayonnaise and crème fraiche, lemon juice, and salt & pepper. You might want to do a web search on this sauce and come up with your own variation. I use olive oil instead of canola oil when making my mayonnaise, add garlic, mustard, and drop or two of Tabasco sauce. Once my aioli cum mustard is done I add extra lemon juice and that becomes my version of Remoulade sauce. A little more elements than chef Poul’s version, but still pretty simple.
Preparing the Celeriac
Peel the celeriac
Slice the peeled celeriac very thinly
Stack the slices and cut them into matchsticks (I cleverly put an actual matchstick by my efforts so you can see that when I say matchstick I mean it, literally)
While you are making your matchsticks, set a pot of water to boil as you need to blanch the celeriac. Once the water is boiling, toss the celeriac into the water and blanch for about 3 minutes.
Drain the celeriac, toss it onto a clean kitchen towel, cover it up, squeeze it a bit – you’ll have “dry” celeriac.
Toss your celeriac with your sauce remoulade, and set in the refrigerator to chill for a couple of hours. You can make it ahead up to a day before use.