This ugly (but subsequently delicious) vegetable was lurking in the bottom of my CSA box last week.
This is gonna be a challenge.
Celeriac, or celery root, is, obviously, a variety of celery grown for it’s root, not the leafy stalks. It smells just like celery – shocking, I know – and is popular in dishes in Europe. Apparently, it’s thought to have medicinal properties too. (source)
It’s got pretty impressive nutritional stats too: 1 cup raw contains only 66 calories, but has 80% of your Vitamin K for the day and 21% of your Vitamin C. (source)
So, what to make with this ugly duckling? I found lots of recipes involving potatoes or making into soup. I chose the potato option and settled on this recipe for potato celery root pancakes from Rice of Life. They didn’t stick together in pancakes very well, so I went with plan B and just crisped them in a more hashbrown-like form.
ooooh my. Imagine hashbrowns with just a hint of celery. Really, really good. Adding a little bit of butter to the pan made these nice and delicious. We tried with olive oil too, but I liked the butter flavor better – and really, butter does make everything better. I gobbled up a big plate of these, then went back and snuck a few more forkfuls right from the pan. I could have eaten this all day long.
Potato celery root pancakes
From Rice of Life
Serves 4 (or two very hungry cooks)
2 large Russet or Yukon potatoes, peeled
1 medium celery root, peeled
1 large onion
1 egg (maybe 2)
1/2 cup gluten-free breadcrumbs from crackers (we used panko cause I was out of breadcrumbs – oops.)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup olive oil
Grate potatoes, celery root, and onion in food processor or by hand. Place in large bowl with one egg, gluten-free breadcrumbs, and sea salt. Mix well and let sit for five minutes.
With clean hands, roll dough into a ball and flatten into a pancake. Add an additional egg, if the batter does not hold together. Set aside until you’ve used up all the dough.
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat with 1 tbsp of olive oil. Cook four pancakes at a time, a minute or two on each side. Should be golden brown in color. Remove from skillet and place on a large plate. Repeat process, making sure to add some additional olive oil to the pan. (Or just do like we did and add a bunch to the pan and stir/flip every once in a while until it gets to your desired crispiness.)
I also suggest reheating in a non-stick pan to get it nice and crispy again.
Serve hot with applesauce and/or sour cream.