Celery Root & Beet Salad

chioggia beets bunched

Use chioggia beets in your salads for their cheery red-and-white-striped flair.

6 medium beets (2 1/4 lb with greens), trimmed, leaving 1 inch of stems attached
1 (1 lb) celery root (sometimes called celeriac)
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, additional to taste
2 tablespoons minced shallot
1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (2 ounces), toasted and cooled

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 425°F.

Wrap beets tightly in foil to make 2 packages (3 beets in each) and roast until tender, about 1 1/4 hours.

While beets roast, peel celery root with a sharp knife and cut into 1/8-inch-thick matchsticks. Whisk together lemon juice, shallot, oil, salt, and pepper to taste in a large bowl until combined well, then add celery root and toss until coated. Keep at room temperature, covered, until ready to add beets.

Carefully unwrap beets and, when just cool enough to handle, slip off skins and remove stems. Cut beets into 1/8-inch-thick matchsticks and toss with celery root.

Let salad stand, covered, at room temperature 1 hour. Taste salad and season with more lemon juice and salt if necessary, then toss with walnuts.

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Vegetable Tempura

Bunch carrots, bagged carrots, green onions, red onions, gold beets, red beets at farmer's market

Raw veggies are absolutely lovely, but sometimes it’s fun to mix it up with tempura for a special occasion.

Serves four to six as an appetizer.

Dipping Sauce
2 scallions, minced
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon grated ginger root
2 minced garlic cloves
1 teaspoon dry mustard

2 cups all purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups cold water
1/4 cup dark sesame oil

5 cups seasonal fresh veggies, such as broccoli, zucchini, carrots, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, etc.

For the dipping sauce, combine the scallions, soy sauce, water, vinegar, honey, ginger, garlic, and mustard in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for an hour to let the flavors blend.

For the batter, mix together the flour and baking powder. Add the cold water and sesame oil all at once and whisk until the consistency of pancake batter and very smooth. Refrigerate until ready to prepare the tempura.

Blot the vegetables dry, season with salt and pepper and dip into the batter. Coat them evenly.

Pour the oil into a tall pot to a depth of 3 inches. Heat over medium heat until around 350 degrees F. Work in batches to avoid crowding. Slip the batter-coated vegetables into the hot oil, deep-frying until the batter is a golden brown and puffy, 3-4 minutes. Turn the veggies so they cook evenly. Remove from the pot with tongs. Drain on an absorbent towel. Serve with dipping sauce.

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Celeriac & Apple Soup

Celeriac, or celery root

Celery root, a.k.a. celeriac, is a versatile vegetable. In this recipe it contributes to a super-tasty soup!

1/2 stick butter
4 cups celeriac, peeled and cubed
3 cups tart apples, peeled and cubed
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup chopped chives
1/2 cup grape seed oil or other mild oil
Pinch of salt
3 ounces thinly sliced pancetta (Italian bacon)

Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add celeriac, apples and onion. Cook until apples and some of celeriac are translucent but not brown, stirring often, about 15 minutes. Add broth, cover and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, covered, until celeriac and apples are soft, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat; cool slightly.

Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth, adding more broth if you prefer a thinner consistency. Return soup to pot. Season to taste with salt and pepper. The soup, to this point, can be done ahead. Keep refrigerated.

Puree chives, oil, and pinch of salt in blender until smooth. Roast the pancetta in a single layer in a 375° oven until browned and crispy. Drain on paper towels, then crumble.

Rewarm soup over medium heat. Divide among bowls and sprinkle each with pancetta crumbles. Drizzle each bowl with chive oil.

We thank Epicurious.com for this delicious recipe.

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Celeriac Potato Puree with Sunchoke Croutons

2 medium celery roots (celeriac) peeled, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 pound potatoes, peeled, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups milk
3 cloves garlic, peeled
3 fresh thyme sprigs
1 fresh bay leaf
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, divided
8 ounces sunchokes, scrubbed
1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme (for garnish)

Combine first 7 ingredients in heavy large pot. Add enough water to cover. Sprinkle with salt. Bring to boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer with lid slightly ajar until vegetables are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and return to pot. Discard thyme sprigs and bay leaf. Stir over medium heat to dry vegetables. Using potato masher, mash vegetables until coarsely pureed. Mash in 3 1/2 tablespoons butter. Season with salt and pepper. This can be done ahead.

Preheat oven to 425°F. Cut sunchokes into 1/2-inch cubes. Place in medium bowl; add oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Dot with remaining 1/2 tablespoon butter. Transfer to rimmed baking sheet; roast until tender and golden brown, turning occasionally, about 25 minutes.
Place celery root and potato puree in serving bowl. Sprinkle with roasted sunchokes and chopped thyme.

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Celery Root and Leek Bisque

Celeriac, or celery root

Don’t let its bizarre appearance fool you: celeriac (celery root) is super-tasty in soups and bisques.

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 leeks, cleaned and chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
1 large celery root (celeriac), peeled and cubed
3 cups chicken stock or broth
2 cups water
1 teaspoon white pepper
1/8 teaspoon chile powder
Sea salt

In a large pot, melt the butter with the olive oil.

Add the leeks and cook for about five minutes, stirring frequently.

Add the garlic cloves and season with salt, and continue to cook until the leeks and garlic are soft and translucent. If the vegetables begin to brown too much, add more olive oil (sparingly).

Add the celery root and stock.

Bring to a boil, then reduce to a strong simmer. Cook, with the lid to the pot ajar, until the celery root pieces are soft and easily pierced with a paring knife, about forty-five minutes.

When done cooking, remove from heat and add white pepper and chile powder.

Using a hand mixer at medium speed, puree the soup in its pot until thick and smooth. If necessary, add water or stock to thin.

We thank Annie McHale for this recipe.

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Celeriac and Parsnip Mash

1 medium celeriac (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
3 medium parsnips (about 3/4 pound), peeled and cut into 1-inch slices, thick ends quartered
1 large russet potato (about 3/4 pound), peeled and quartered
1/4 cup vegetable broth or chicken broth
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, divided
2 tablespoons low-fat or nonfat plain yogurt
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoons salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Place celeriac and parsnips in a large saucepan; cover with lightly salted water. Place potato in a medium saucepan; cover with lightly salted water. Bring both saucepans to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer gently until the vegetables are very tender when pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes for the potato and 30 to 40 minutes for the celeriac and parsnips.

When the potato is tender, drain and transfer to a large bowl. Mash with a potato masher. Cover and keep warm. When the celeriac and parsnips are tender, drain and transfer to a food processor; process until smooth, stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides. Add the puree to the potato.

Meanwhile, combine broth and oil in a saucepan or measuring cup and heat on the stovetop (or in the microwave) until steaming. Stir into the puree, along with 2 tablespoons chives, yogurt, mustard, salt and pepper. Stir in Parmesan. Garnish with the remaining 1 tablespoon chives. Serve hot.

We thank EatingWell.com for this recipe.

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Sauteed Celery Root with Swiss Chard

Rainbow chard

“Because I love to cook, I’ll use any excuse to make dinner for my family or friends. Most of the recipes I concoct are partly based on how the ingredients look-presentation is very important to me,” says Dave Purdy of Hopewell, New Jersey. “Here, I combined celery root with Swiss chard because the colors and textures contrast so nicely.”

This tangy side dish would be good with roasted poultry or meat.

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
12 ounces celery root, peeled, cut into matchstick-size strips
1 pound Swiss chard, stems trimmed, leaves cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté 3 minutes. Add celery root and sauté until crisp-tender, about 8 minutes. Add chard; cover and cook until wilted and tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.

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