I first came across celery root (also known as celeriac) in France, where it is the basis for céleri rémoulade, one of the salads that was always included in plates of hors d’oeuvres in years gone by. Back then celery root was hard to find in the United States, but now with our increasing repertoire of ingredients, it’s readily available and at its best in the autumn. When made into dishes like this, braised celery root brings a different taste to the table in the fall and winter months.—Jessica B. Harris
1 1/2 pounds (1 medium) celery root
Salt for blanching
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 bay leaf
1 small onion, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup chicken stock, or turkey or vegetable stock
1/4 cup dry white wine
Minced flat-leaf parsley for garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
2. Wash the celery root, peel it, and cut it into 1/2-inch slices. Blanch the slices for 10 minutes in salted boiling water. Remove and drain.
3. Heat the olive oil and butter in a flameproof casserole, add the bay leaf and minced onion, and cook until the onion is tender but not brown. Add the drained celery root slices and allow them to brown for a few minutes on both sides. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the chicken stock and wine and bring to a boil.
4. Remove from the heat, place the dish in the oven, and bake uncovered for approximately 25 minutes, or until the celery root is tender. Strain the remaining juices into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat and continue to cook until the volume is reduced by half. Serve the reduced juices as a sauce over the hot celery root. Garnish with minced parsley.
Recipe © 2004 by Jessica B. Harris. All rights reserved.