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Warm Celeriac Salad

29 January

Not a true root, celeriac is a special variety of celery that is cultivated for its swollen stem base rather than its upper branches. The flavor is much like a combination of celery and parsley, only stronger and with a smoky flavor. It is one of the few vegetables that must be peeled before using, and the innermost woody section may be too fibrous to use. You can do anything with celeriac that you can do with turnips, and more. Once peeled, it can be eaten raw in salads, blanched, steamed, boiled, pureed, and stir-fried. Cut into matchsticks, its chewy crunch and assertive flavor are easy crowd pleasers. Cooked celeriac mixed with an equal quantity of potato makes a delicately flavored puree. The stalks and leaves are not eaten.

As a celery-related plant, celeriac has been known for its diuretic qualities, and is useful to those with kidney stones and arthritic conditions. Celeriac is beneficial to the lymphatic, nervous, and urinary systems.

INGREDIENTS

2 medium celeriac roots
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons olive oil (or walnut oil)
1 teaspoon wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon sweetener
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
a little chopped parsley and spring onion

DIRECTIONS

  1. Peel and trim the celeriac, then slice them across in ¼ inch chunks. Slice these down into large chip size.
  2. Steam for 5 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, make the vinaigrette by mixing all the rest of the ingredients.
  4. Toss the warm celeriac pieces into the vinaigrette and serve immediately, either as first course on a bed of mixed greens, or as a salad after the main course.

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