Celeriac is not overburdened by beauty. Luckily, this gigantic vegetable tastes damned delicious, but chances are you've cantered past it in alarm at your local grocer.
Celeriac often resembles the butt of a matted yak. Thankfully, it smells nothing like it.
Under the ugly exterior lies a subtly perfumed root vegetable. Its pale flesh tastes somewhere between celery and potato. Uncooked, celeriac is crunchy like raw beetroot, and loves to hang out with mustard and cream.
When steamed or boiled, celeriac collapses into a smooth mash that pairs well with butter and black pepper. The traditional way of eating the celeriac slaw on this page is with slices of ham and baby potatoes. But we find it works just as well with burgers or egg sambos. Expect this slaw to be quite the prima donna at your neighbour's barbecue, stealing the oxygen from the other salads (this is a different type of delicious altogether).
For a root vegetable, celeriac is not very starchy and is rather light on the tummy. There's a goodie-bag of nutrition stashed away beneath that ugly exterior, too. This ain't no sexy superfood, but celeriac does boast modest amounts of vitamin C, calcium, potassium and an important trace mineral called manganese. Athletes dig this trace mineral for its ability to help with muscle and nerve recovery. Manganese comes from the Greek word for magic. 'Nuff said!
You will need:
1 medium celeriac, peeled (approx. 400g)
1 apple, peeled
Juice of 1-2 lemons
225g sour cream
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Salt and black pepperl
Handful of crushed hazelnuts, to top
1 If you have a fancy-pants mandolin, this is the moment it has been waiting for. Dust it off, and adjust it to your preferred setting. Finely shred your peeled celeriac no thicker than a match stick. You can also prep the celeriac by hand with a sharp knife and enviable patience, or by using a specialised food-processor blade.
2 Follow with the peeled apple, shredding it similarly and binning the core.
3 Then dress the shredded celeriac and apple immediately with lemon juice to prevent discolouration and to help tenderise the root. Now you can tumble in the remaining ingredients with jolly alacrity. Some readers might like to add finely chopped lovage and parsley. Or replace the hazelnuts with candied pecans. Whatever makes your taste buds disco. Eat while fresh, before the celeriac has a chance to soak up too much of the moisture and become claggy. But I doubt this will be a problem!
Sunday Indo Life Magazine