Fall’s Forgotten Vegetable: Celery Root

Also called celeriac, this strange-looking knobby bulb can be found in the store or farmers’ market during fall and winter months. Its green stalks may look like celery, but celery root and celery are not from the same plant, although they are from the same family. The root, stems and leaves of celery root are edible, but most recipes feature the large bulb. Chop the stems and leaves and add them to stocks and stews for a pleasing aromatic (think celery paired with parsley). 

This versatile vegetable is an excellent source of vitamins C and K, as well as a good source of phosphorus. Celery root can be served puréed, mashed, roasted or raw in a salad. 

When picking a celery root look for small, firm bulbs that do not have any soft spots. You will be cutting off the rootlets and the bulb’s top so don’t be surprised if you cut off up to a third of the bulb before cooking. You then need to peel the outer skin — here is a good visual showing how to peel a celery root. Rub any exposed celery root flesh with lemon juice to prevent browning if you aren’t going to use it right away. 

Below is a sweet and savory recipe to highlight the versatility of celery root by pairing it with apples and goat cheese in a baked pastry. The galette would pair well with a protein as a meal or served warm as an appetizer.


Celery Root and Apple Galette

Recipe developed by Lara Felton, MBA, RDN

Makes one 8-inch round

Ingredients
For the crust:Fall’s Forgotten Vegetable: Celery Root -
1 ¼ cup whole-wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose flour)
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cubed
¼ plain Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
¼ cup ice water
2 teaspoons lemon juice

For the filling:
1 small apple, cored and cut into ¼ inch thick slices
1 small celery root, cleaned, peeled and cut into ¼-inch thick slices
2 ounces goat cheese
2 teaspoons honey
¼ teaspoon rosemary, finely chopped
1 egg, beaten or 1 tablespoon milk (for brushing on the crust before baking)

Directions

To make the crust:

  • In a medium bowl, mix together the flour and salt.
  • In a separate small bowl whisk together the yogurt, ice water and lemon juice. Set aside.
  • Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the cubes of butter. Break butter into the flour mixture either using a pastry cutter or your fingers to get a pea-sized crumb.
  • Make a well in the butter-flour mixture and add the yogurt mixture. Use a wooden spoon or your hands to mix together. The dough will be sticky and wet initially. Be sure to get all the loose flour incorporated. Shape the dough into a round, wrap it in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator to keep cold while you prep the filling.

To make the filling:

  • Wash and core the apple (I prefer not to peel my apples but you can). Cut the apple in half and then into ¼-thick slices. Set aside.
  • Scrub the outside of the celery root and use a chef’s knife to cut off the bottom and green leafy top. Place it cut side down on a cutting board giving you a stable platform. Cut down around the bulb to remove the tough outer skin (see link above for visuals on peeling celery root).
  • Cut the celery root in half and then into ¼-inch thick slices. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl mix the goat cheese, honey and minced rosemary together to form a paste.

Assemble the galette:

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and place a rack in the middle of the oven.
  • Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll it out on parchment paper or a well-floured surface until you get a 10 inch round that is about ¼ inch thick (I roll it out on the parchment paper I bake it on to save some clean up).
  • Spread the goat cheese mixture onto the crust leaving a 1½- to 2-inch border around the crust.
  • Layer the apple and celery root slices onto the goat cheese mixture, keeping the 1½- to 2-inch border.
  • Gently fold the crust up and over the filling.
  • Brush the crust with the egg wash or milk.
  • Place the galette onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature. (I highly recommend enjoying it warm).

Notes

  • You can make the crust a few days ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator wrapped airtight. You also can use store-bought pastry dough and skip the steps for making the crust.
  • You also can make the crust in a food processer fitted with the blade attachment. Be sure to pulse the butter cubes first to get the pea-size crumb and then add the wet ingredients and pulse until the dough comes together. Pour the dough onto a floured surface and shape into a round.
Lara Felton, MBA, RDN on Twitter
Lara Felton, MBA, RDN
Lara Felton, MBA, RDN is a clinical dietitian based in the Bay Area. She is Head of Product for Shapa, Inc. Follow her on Twitter.