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Remoulade de Celeri-Rave – Celeriac Salad

September 29, 2012

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Celeriac salad is one of my favourite ingredients of a crudites starter in a French restaurant. Often accompanied by grated carrots, diced beetroot, finely sliced cucumber salad, radishes and, really, any vegetable in season that’s nice eaten raw, there are few things that beat it as a fresh and delectable way to begin a meal. Linda made celeriac salad for lunch one day last week while I was with her and George in Spain, and I thought, I must make this when I get home. So, here it is!

With the weather fast getting colder – despite sun today – this nutty, earthy and slightly creamy vegetable is perfect for the autumn. Despite its rather bland and unattractive appearance, celeriac is packed full of good things and an excellent source of calcium, magnesium and Vitamin C. It’s such a simple salad that one feels it should be put together without the aid of a cookbook. Thin strips of fresh celeriac folded with a mustardy mayonnaise. But, as I always do when cooking something for the blog, I feel I should search my cookbook shelves and see what others come up with. After a quick look in a ‘Jamie’ and Elizabeth David, I settled on French Cookery by Helge Rubinstein, one of the first books I commissioned for a cookery series back in the late 1970s. It was published in 1979 and has remained a standard with me for anything classically French: simple recipes that always work well.

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I bought a nice organic celeriac yesterday (500g) so with that and some olive oil, mustard and a lemon, I was set to go.

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Celeriacs, like pumpkins, are not the easiest things to peel but the best thing to do is stand it on a chopping board and slice downwards with a sharp knife to take off the tough and knobbly outside. Then grate it finely.

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Transfer to a bowl and sprinkle with the juice of half a lemon and a level teaspoon of salt. Mix thoroughly and leave to marinate while you make the mustard dressing.

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Put 2 tablespoon of Dijon mustard in a bowl (it’s important to use French and not English mustard!) and whisk in 1 tablespoon boiling water to loosen it up. Then beat in 2 tablespoon olive oil slowly, as if making mayonnaise.When it’s nice and creamy beat in 1 teaspoon of wine or cider vinegar. At this point I tasted and strayed from the recipe. It was nice but very mustardy and I decided to soften it by adding a heaped dessertspoon of mayonnaise. This is a very usual addition in most other recipes, so perfectly acceptable.

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Check seasoning. You probably won’t need more salt but add some freshly ground black pepper. Then pour the dressing over the grated celeriac and mix thoroughly. Transfer to a serving dish and either serve immediately or put in the fridge till you want it.

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Serve the celeriac salad as part of a crudites starter or light lunch, or with just some good crunchy French bread and maybe some cheese. The flavour is deep and earthy, capturing all the smells and richness of autumn and the salad is such a fabulous classic that you’ll want to keep coming back for more and more.

From → Recipes, Salads, Vegetable

12 Comments
  1. I find celeriac salad as a starter in Germany and Austria as well. I’m sure I will be enjoying some of it soon as we are heading in that direction shortly.

    • Have a wonderful trip. Are you going to Vienna? I’ve not been there but would love to go … Sachertorte 🙂 !

      • Thank you. We will be staying in several spa resorts in the mountains and also right outside Salzburg while we are in Austria, the Black Forest and Bavaria in Germany and doing day trips to Alsace. I’ll have Sachertorte in Salzburg. Yum.

      • Sounds a wonderful trip, Karen. Great sights and great food. I haven’t been in that area of Europe since I was a child. Have a great time and hope to read about your travels.

      • I’ll be writing about our travels soon with lots of photos.

      • Fabulous. I’ll look forward to it!

  2. Bravo! One of my all time favourites. Even the cheapest version bought on a French motorway can be delicious. The the best, from a good traiteur or home made, is better again. Celeriac needs a better press in England.

    • There’s no beating some of the old French classics. I love celeriac. Often cook it with equal parts potato in winter and cream together to go with stews, or as part of a winter roasted vegetable mix.

  3. Intrigued by this strange and leafy bulb, I bought celeriac for the first time the other day, having never seen it in my native Kenya. I have been julienning it onto all kinds of salads since, almost like I would an unripe tart mango. Your recipe holds possibilities!

    • It’s a pretty ugly beast of a vegetable but has a gentle celery-type taste. My recipe is a classic French one – served all over France as a starter – but it’s great mashed with butter, made into a soup, roasted with other vegetables …

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

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