It's as hard as a rock (that's a good thing), and it feels knobby and rippled. Given my traumatic history with vegetables, you might wonder What possessed her to buy it? What indeed? Every so often I get a wild idea stuck in my head, and I can't get rid myself of it until I deal with it. So I found myself at King Soopers staring at a celery root. Yup! It's a celery root, Or Apium graveolens var. rapaceum: AKA turnip-rooted celery, knob celery, and its Cinderella name, celeriac. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celeriac
It's all Ivan's fault! He inspired me to buy that ugly scary vegetable, drove me right out the door to get it, a bunch of celery, and a bottle of celery seeds! Now, I have been known to tolerate celery in the past. My favorite celery recipe is Ants on a Log.
This is the perfect teacher recipe for a healthy classroom party. Note: third graders do not like healthy parties. The one time a room mother and I planned a healthy Halloween party featuring Ants on a Log, it was a disaster. I've given unhealthy parties ever since! I quite like Ants on a Log ~ though, actually it's the only way I like celery. But... Ivan has an amazing blog called A Normandy Kitchen, and he posted a celery recipe that made me salivate ~ celery! His post was called A soup of three celeries. Caveat! Ivan's beautifully presented recipes always make me salivate! I stuffed the celery and the USV in the vegetable bin and closed the fridge door. Every time I opened that door that USV told me it was waiting for a fairy godmother transformation. Finally I couldn't stand it any more! In a rash fit, I channeled Graham Kerr*, poured a glass of pinot noir, and assembled the ingredients.
Just a Few Simple Ingredients
and a Good Recipe
Not quite sure how to dive into the unknown,
I gave the USV a good scrub.
Surprise a fresh, clean, celery aroma wafted up ~ much pleasanter than fresh scrubbed potatoes or carrots. I took a swig of wine to fortify myself, strange vegetables, especially USVs, intimidate the heck out of me!
Ready for the Attack!
Said Ivan in an encouraging comment to me:
"Please be careful with the celery -
cut in half and place cut side down so it doesn't slip.
'Peel' with a knife as you need to remove
about three times that of a potato skin (more at the base).
Fingers on top and cut just below them and down (keep turning).
Rinse and ready to go."
Cross - Section of Celeriac
The loveliest and bright fragrance
hit my olfactory senses,
not just celery, but
the soul of celery!
Does this thing have cancer?!
Carefully Peeling Celery
See Safety Note Above
I took another swig of pinot,
and chopped that cancerous looking sucker up!
Celery Root Put in Its Place!
and Ready to Go!
"Ivan ~ did you really mean to peel the celery sticks?"
"Yes, you can peel the outside of the celery sticks to remove the strings or snap the top and remove them by pulling down (sometimes you don't need to, depends on the season)," writes the helpful Ivan.
Strings in Soup
Are a Bad Thing!
Note from the Trenches!
Don't use dark brown vegetable stock.
Make your own ~ or buy
a light-colored one
(light on the salt!).
Chopped Celery, Celeriac, and Stock in a Pot
I brought it to a boil
and simmered it until soft.
Celery seeds are tiny!
I followed the roadmap
and ground them up smaller!
I tossed in the
celery seeds and
Just for good measure, I ran the mixture through my blender.
I returned everything to the pot and stirred in ground up cashews. Then I left it to simmer until the Guinea Pig came home. "What's that?" said the G-P when he walked in. Sniff? Sniff. "Celery? Did you finally cook that celery root in the bin? Smells good!" "Why don't you try some?" said I who had not taken a sip, thinking of Zhang Mei, the Dragon of Terror and Peril, and his soup in The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril. The G-P would be my taster! I placed a bowl artfully festooned with cashews in front of him.
"How come it's brown? I thought Ivan's was green," said the G-P. "It looks like ..." "Next time I'll use a different vegetable stock," I quickly interrupted. "Okay," said the G-P, and he dove in. "Ummm. Yum. This is good. He finished his bowl. "Aren't you going to have some?" "I'm just finishing my wine," said I, as I carefully watched the taster. He didn't keel over on top of his soup bowl or slump on the floor. Nothing happened. I ladled a small bowl for myself, spooned up a tiny amount, and touched it with the tip of my tongue.
I didn't keel over on top of my soup bowl
or slump on the floor.
"Wow! This is pretty good!
It's delicious!" said I, and I finished my bowl.
"That's a keeper," said the G-P.
"You should make it again."
"I will," said I.
"Celeriac is good raw with mayonnaise (or Greek yoghurt and lemon) ... and it freezes well," wrote Ivan.