Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Celery Root (Celeriac) Rémoulade

Celery Root (Celeriac) Rémoulade in ramekin, overhead view on black

Kinda sorta like French coleslaw

Celery root (celeriac) is a type of celery grown specifically for its root. Even if you’ve never used it, you’ve seen it in the grocery store. It’s the brown, knobby veggie that (to the uninitiated) looks like a rock. But trust me, it’s edible—with a subtle, delectable flavor.

Celeriac is better known in Europe than in the US. When shredded and served raw—as it is in this dish—it has a crisp crunch. Combine it with tangy dressing, and you have a dish that resembles coleslaw. And one that happens to be one of the iconic dishes of French cuisine.

You can serve Celery Root Rémoulade as a starter, instead of a salad. Or as a side dish to accompany most fish, meat, or poultry dishes. It even goes great with hamburgers. Or as they say in French, les hamburgers.


Celery Root (Celeriac) Rémoulade on plate, with fork and napkin in background

Recipe: Celery Root (Celeriac) Rémoulade

Celeriac is often served cooked, though it doesn’t have to be—as this recipe shows.

Just as with coleslaw, Celery Root Rémoulade can be made with a creamy dressing (mayonnaise-based) or a vinaigrette (olive oil-based). In both versions, mustard is the dominant flavor. I prefer vinaigrette, so that’s what we’re doing here. But in the Notes I explain how to make a mayo-based version.

This recipe has several steps, but all are quite simple and quick: Prepare a mustardy vinaigrette. Peel and shred the celeriac. Then toss it all together. Although celeriac has a tough hide, a good swivel peeler works quite well on it. Or do as I do: Perch the celeriac on one end, and use a knife to slice off the peel (much as you might cut the peel off an orange). You lose a bit of celeriac flesh this way, but you’ll be able to peel it in well under a minute.

One important point to keep in mind: Once you peel celeriac, its white flesh discolors very quickly. So as I peel, I  rub the cut sides with a lemon slice (the acid in the lemon retards browning). Because this is such a quick recipe to prepare, discoloration shouldn’t be much of an issue—but do keep that lemon slice handy.

My recipe is adapted from Julia Child’s The Way to Cook.

This dish takes 10 minutes or so to prepare.

The recipe serves 6 to 8. Although it’s good right after you make it, it tastes even better after several hours in the refrigerator (it mellows out a bit).

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several days.

Ingredients
  • ¼ cup Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons boiling water
  • ~1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ~2 tablespoons wine vinegar
  • ~1 pound celery root
  • a couple slices of lemon
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • ~2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Procedure
  1. Start by making the vinaigrette dressing: Add the mustard to a medium-sized bowl.
  2. Dribble in—drop by drop—the boiling water, using a whisk to thoroughly mix it with the mustard.
  3. Once mixed, dribble in the oil—drop by drop—until you’ve made a creamy sauce (again, use a whisk).
  4. Now dribble in the wine vinegar—drop by drop—whisking until you have a thick sauce.
  5. Taste the sauce, and add more vinegar if necessary. Wait until Step 9 to season it.
  6. Rinse off the celery root. You need to peel and shred it, but be aware that once peeled, celery root can discolor quickly. To prevent this, you need to work quickly. It also helps to rub a slice of lemon over each side of the celery root right after you cut it (the acid from the lemon helps prevent browning).
  7. Peel the celery root (see headnote for instructions). Trim the root so it will fit into the tube of a food processor. Then, using the shredding disc, shred the celery root. (You can also grate by hand, but that takes a bit of muscle.)
  8. Add the shredded celery root to a clean, medium-sized mixing bowl (not the one you’re using to make the vinaigrette). Add the lemon juice and toss well. Add the vinaigrette dressing to the celery root mixture, then toss to combine.
  9. Taste, and add salt and black pepper to taste; add additional wine vinegar if necessary. Add the chopped parsley. Toss all the ingredients again to combine. You can serve Celeriac Rémoulade immediately, though it will taste better if made a few hours ahead of time. Just store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Celery Root (Celeriac) Rémoulade on plate, with fork and napkin in background

Notes
  • If you prefer to make a mayonnaise-based version of the dressing, here’s how: Place ¾ cup mayonnaise in a medium bowl. Beat in 1 tablespoon of mustard (or more to taste), and 1 to 2 tablespoons minced parsley. Add salt and pepper to taste. Then proceed with Step 6.
  • BTW, whether you’re using the mayo or the vinaigrette recipe: Do adjust ingredient quantities to suit your own taste. There are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to making these dressings.
  • Well, there is one rule—I strongly recommend using good quality extra virgin olive oil. The flavor of the oil will be very apparent in the dressing, so you want something that tastes good.
  • Likewise with Dijon mustard (OK, that’s two rules). The better the quality of the mustard, the better the dressing.
  • French cooking is famous for its sauces, and one of the best known is Sauce Rémoulade. But the classic sauce differs from the dressing used in this dish. The classic sauce always contains capers and anchovies, but not mustard. So although the sauce and this dish share a name (Rémoulade) they have different flavors. If you think that’s confusing, what ‘til you get a load of French irregular verbs.
  • There’s also a New Orleans version of Rémoulade Sauce. It’s usually mayonnaise-based and contains Creole mustard, horseradish, Cajun or Creole seasoning, and often hot sauce (like Tabasco). And sometimes a bit of tomato.
Celery Root (Celeriac) Rémoulade in ramekin, fork and napkin in background

The Mother of all Celery

“Wow, who knew celery could be so versatile?” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “Any more celery recipes coming up?”

“Think we’ll take a break from it,” I said. “But we’ll be featuring several more throughout the year—for both celery and celeriac.”

“Excellent,” said Mrs K R. “This Celery Root Rémoulade is wonderful! Celeriac is like celery on steroids.”

“You could say that celery root is the mother of all celery,” I said. “And Celeriac Rémoulade, with its wonderful mustard flavor, has such a nice, sunny personality.”

“Which makes it a dish I can root for,” said Mrs K R. “Definitely one that can cut the mustard.”

Any more of these puns, and I’ll need an escape root.

You may also enjoy reading about:
Braised Celery with Tomato and Parmesan
Celery, Corn, and Bacon Chowder
Italian Celery and Mushroom Salad
Creamy Coleslaw
Garlic Coleslaw
Jalapeño Coleslaw with Pimentón
Grilled Hamburgers
Or check out the index for more recipes

114 comments:

  1. Taking a break from it already. I haven't picked up a celery root at the market since last spring I think. I did like it, I think I just forgot about it. A slaw sounds like the perfect way to enjoy it. Can't wait to see what your next muse will be.
    -Gina-

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    1. Hi Gina, celeriac isn't that popular in the US, so we don't see as many recipes for it as, for example, brownies. ;-) It's good, though, isn't it? Thanks for the comment.

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  2. Hi John , never made Celeraic Remoulade before , but now I will make it offen , good to get away from regular slaw ... I am always amazed at what delicious dishes you share and make them so easy to prepare . Next stop market . Come on warm weather , it time for grilling and 'Celeraic Remoulade' . Thanks so much for sharing :)

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    1. Hi Nee, I'm looking forward to it getting warm enough to start grilling again! And I'll definitely be pairing this dish with my burgers. Thanks for the comment.

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  3. I'm with Nee, on this one! This celeraic remoulade looks just wonderful and I have to give it a try. Thanks for sharing another great creation from your kitchen!

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    1. Hi Dan, it's really a wonderful dish -- incredible flavor. Thanks for the comment.

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  4. Now all I can think about is grilling. I don't know why but this winter has worn on me and I want outdoors in the worst way!

    Celeriac is a strange looking bird but I love the flavor that can be coaxed from it. This looks so simple and easy too...a HUGE plus John!

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    1. Hi Barb, I'm so ready for grilling too! And this really is easy, with a terrific flavor payoff! Thanks for the comment.

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  5. I don't prepare celery root enough. I love it's fresh taste and how perfect to serve it as a slaw. Love this recipe with a dribble of this and that and then you suddenly have the perfect vinaigrette. I'm heading over to Whole Foods shortly, I think I'll pick some up. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Hi VIcki, this really is worth making -- wonderful flavor. Whole Foods has great looking celery root, as does Straub's at the moment. Thanks for the comment.

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  6. Good to know about one more ingredient. These are the perks of blogging that I enjoy!! Thanks for introducing Celeriac and sharing a simple and delicious recipe!!

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    1. Hi Shibi, I agree that one of the best things about blogging is discovering all sorts of new foods and recipes! Not to mention swell people.;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  7. Hi John and thank you for this post. Yup, I'm one of those who will look at that celery root at Whole Foods and quickly dismiss it as something I'd buy. I've never taken the time to Google for a recipe or try to figure it out. And as far as remoulade, love it and will try this very soon. Thanks.

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    1. Hi Lea Ann, it's definitely worth the trouble to get to know this veggie a bit better -- it has loads of potential. Thanks for the comment.

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  8. I was gazing at a celeriac at the produce department a few days ago. I used it once, combined with celery to make a cream of celery soup. I love the idea of using it in a coleslaw. Hmmm, thanks for getting the wheels turning. . .Rocquie

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    1. Hi Rocquie, celeriac is great in soup! In fact I cook it more than anything, although it's wonderful in this dish, too. Thanks for the comment.

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  9. We adore celeriac! Glad you're spreading the word. We love it as a low carb sub for mashies too.

    Denise

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    1. Hi Denise, isn't celeriac wonderful? You're right that it's great in mashies. Love it in a gratin, too. Thanks for the comment.

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  10. John, I am a huge fan of celeriac... it's such an understated vegetable! Love your recipe... you always post such interesting stuff! Thanks.

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    1. Hi Lizzy, isn't this a terrific veggie? So much you can do with it! Thanks for the comment.

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  11. I have always used celeriac in my chicken soup. I then always pull it out and chop it into pieces so I can eat it. It is very good. I knew you could eat it raw , but haven't tried it. I have no doubt that I won't need an escape root!

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    1. Hi Abbe, ;-) Using celeriac in soup (or stock) is a wonderful idea! Thanks for the comment.

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  12. I just want to eat the whole thing...Its look reminds more noodles than a remoulade/coleslaw.

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    1. Hi Denise, this does look a lot like noodles, doesn't it? It's the way it's grated -- kind of long, stringy pieces. Thanks for the comment.

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  13. You are creative and have patience. I have never really given a thought about celery root, so I find this extremely innovative and interesting. Great colors too! Thanks John!

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    1. Hi Minnie, this is such good stuff! Really worth trying -- I think you'll enjoy it. Thanks for the comment.

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  14. Mmm, this is so lovely! Celery and I are not the best, but I can learn to love it :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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    1. Hi Uru, celeriac has a more interesting flavor than celery, IMO. You may like it better -- worth a taste someday, at any rate. Thanks for the comment.

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  15. I've seen celeriac but oddly never picked one up and tried it out. Now I have a great reason to! This sounds so healthy and I love a dish with a good crunch to it! One pound would be about how many pieces of celeriac? (never was good at math, lol)

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    1. Hi Barbara, that's a good question -- the celery root is kinda shaped like a lumpy ball, and I'd guess a pound would be about a 4 inch root (in diameter). They do come in different sizes, though, so I find those supermarket scales so handy! Thanks for the comment.

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  16. Although the small town where I live has brought in a surprising number of foods in the last few years,I have not seen celery root.Tell me, does it have the texture of the base of a regular stalk of celery? Is it that type of flavor? That LOVE that small section that we get from a stalk.

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    1. Hi Tonette, the texture is much more dense than the base of a normal head of celery. The flavor is somewhat similar, though. Talk to the produce people at the grocery store -- it might be that they sometimes stock it at certain times of the year. Farmer's markets are a great place to look, too. Thanks for the comment.

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  17. I never had celery root, only heard of it...this look very refreshing and I like the crunchy texture...
    Thanks for the recipe John, hope you are having a great week :D

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    1. Hi Juliana, it's really worth trying celery root sometime! Such a fun veggie. Thanks for the comment.

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  18. Celeriac isn't very pretty but it sure is in that bowl.

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    1. Hi Maureen, celeriac definitely isn't pretty at all when unpeeled! I think all the lemon I rubbed on it helped the complexion of the celeriac in the bowl. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  19. I used celery root in a French stew recently...but now I'm game for your remoulade! Looks terrific, my friend!

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    1. Hi Liz, you'll love this! It's really good. Thanks for the comment.

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  20. I've cooked with celeriac before but I've never served it like this. This looks very yummy and full of crunch. Like Maureen said, it's not a pretty vegetable but the flavour is fantastic xx

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    1. Hi Charlie, this is a nice change from the usual celeriac recipes. And it's perfect for the warm weather you're still enjoying! Thanks for the comment.

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  21. Yes, I have seen celeriac in the grocery stores, but have never bought it because I really wasn't sure what to do with it. A nice crispy, fresh salad like this sounds like the perfect way to be introduced to this vegetable. Thanks for sharing the recipe and all of the good kitchen notes.

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    1. Hi MJ, it took me ages before I began buying celeriac! Its looks are rather off-putting. Definitely worth playing with, though -- a great veggie. Thanks for the comment.

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  22. I really enjoy celery root and this seems like a perfect way to enjoy it!

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    1. Hi Alyssa, celery root is such a versatile veggie. I usually serve it cooked, but it's wonderful raw like this. Thanks for the comment.

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  23. Lovin celeriac all the way, too shame pt's quite pricey over here in Indonesia...
    Lovin made mashed celeriac and never made it into remoulade, sounds tasty!!!

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    1. Hi Dedy, celery root isn't the cheapest thing going here, either, alas -- just not that many people buy it. Too bad, because it's good stuff! Thanks for the comment.

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  24. This looks wonderful! I have to admit that I have never tasted this funny looking vegetable although I am making an effort to include some varieties that are new to me. I am thinking this recipe would be one of them. Thanks...

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    1. Hi Pat, this is a wonderful way to use celeriac! Another is to mash it like potatoes (I often include half potatoes and half celeriac for a really interesting flavor). Thanks for the comment.

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  25. Ah there it is! That sounds pretty lovely too John. Will definitely remember that For next time!

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    1. Hi Simone, ;-) This really is a great recipe -- and a bit different. Thanks for the comment.

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  26. This is one of my favorite winter salads! Delicious.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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    1. Hi Rosa, isn't this wonderful? Such nice flavor! Thanks for the comment.

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  27. What !!! celery root!!?? At first glance I thought this was noodles... very tricky. I've never tried this before but I trust you in this and will try your recipe as soon as I find one. Thanks dear for introducing us to more vegetables.

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    1. Hi Amira, it does look like noodles, doesn't it? It's just the way it's grated (I used my food processor). Definitely worth a try. Thanks for the comment.

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  28. This is a dish I never have made but I am craving it. Also I think I'd like to tell my picky husband this was pasta... and then surprise him! Looks great!

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    1. Hi Pamela, you have a treat in store with this dish! So, so good. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  29. This rémoulade looks and sounds delicious! Thank you for sharing the recipe and tips. Have a great day! :)

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    1. Hi Padaek, it's really a swell dish! Worth trying. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  30. Thanks for introducing me to something new, John! This looks absolutely delicious and perfectly refreshing for spring. I'd love to try it!

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    1. Hi Georgia, this really is a super dish. Hope you enjoy! Thanks for the comment.

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  31. This French classic is so versatile too. I did one for Thanksgiving with currants and walnuts. It was a big hit (even after I told folks what it was!). GREG

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    1. Hi Greg, adding currants and walnuts is a terrific idea! Isn't it fun playing with your food? ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  32. I didn't know celery root was grown specifically for the root. I love all your little tidbits. It sounds like I would love celery root and I can't wait to try it!

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    1. Hi Laura, celery root does have some ribs and leaves that are similar to the celery we buy in the store, but their flavor is different (more "wild") and there aren't as many ribs (typically). Have fun with this! Thanks for the comment.

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  33. Yum!
    We can get celeriac here too, and it is becoming more popular. I like how you served it simply. YUM!

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    1. Hi Julie, isn't this a fun dish? Totally tasty too -- my favorite kind! Thanks for the comment.

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  34. French coleslaw! I love that! It's always been one of my fave sides. Who can resist a creamy dressing giving way to full on crunch?

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    1. Hi Carolyn, this is such a terrific dish, isn't it? Particularly for anyone who likes mustard. And crunch. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  35. I'm sure you're right and I've seen this veggie at the grocery store, but I surely can't picture it. Now I'll be on the hunt being the slaw and veggie lover that I am.

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    1. Hi Kristi, it's there. ;-) And if it isn't, change grocery stores! This is a veggie I think you'd love -- good flavor, and low in calories. Thanks for the comment.

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  36. Oh wow!! Too cool! I thought this was noodles at first!

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    1. Hi Ashley, it really does look like noodles! Although rather short ones.;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  37. I'vee never seen Celeriac nor have I tried it in cooking but this looks like a great side dish to meat or fish dish.

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    1. Hi Peachy, it's a lovely ingredient -- nice flavor. Particularly in this dish! Thanks for the comment.

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  38. Yeah, I remember seeing lots of celeriac while living in Paris. We cooked with often at the Cordon Bleu school and even had to shape it into those silly cylinder shapes. I think I would prefer using a food processor. Thanks for the recipe!

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    1. Hi Fran, funny, I was looking at a recipe for "turning" (shaping it into little ovals) celeriac the other day! That's a pain! Thanks for the comment.

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  39. Every time I see the celery roots in the supermarket I always wonder how it would taste like. I finally find the answer today! Love this simple slaw like recipe and I'll make it when I see the celery roots next time. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Hi Yi, this recipe is a great way to use celeriac, as is turning it into mashies (good all by itself, maybe even better combined with potatoes). Thanks for the comment.

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  40. Tanks for this recipe John! I have often looked at celeriac and wanted to buy it but the only recipe that would pop into my head was some mashed stuff. I didn't much fancy that. Now this, this looks fantastic and since its more of a salad, my kids will eat it readily. I'm going to buy some next time!

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    1. Hi Nazneen, this really is a winner. Lovely mustard flavor, great texture. I think you'll like it. Thanks for the comment.

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  41. We have boxes of celeries at every corner here and they are so cheap. It is such an underused vegetable, with so many possibilities! Have a good weekend!

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    1. Hi Gintare, unfortunately celeriac isn't at all cheap here (although the type grown for its ribs is pretty reasonably priced). Still, it's so nice to use -- great flavor. I hope you have a wonderful weekend, too, and thanks for the comment.

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  42. I have a big fat celeriac begging to be put to use on the kitchen counter right now! Very timely recipe, John. Thanks :)

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    1. Hi Irina, glad to be of help! ;-) This is a really tasty recipe -- I think you'll enjoy it. Thanks for the comment.

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  43. I have always wanted to make this. Wow ! Sounds and looks delicious!

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    1. Hi Asmita, this is so worth making! I'll bet you'll like. Thanks for the comment.

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  44. I love celeriac remoulade, you've reminded me to make some.

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    1. Hi Caroline, this dish has wonderful flavor, doesn't it? It's a favorite of ours! Thanks for the comment.

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  45. I just used celeriac in a pureed cauliflower dish and I love the subtle flavor. Never thought of eating it raw like coleslaw but it's a brilliant idea. Looks delicious!

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    1. Hi Bill, celeriac is really terrific when prepared like this. Me likee, and I think you would too. Thanks for the comment

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  46. Oh Celery how many ways do I like thee
    As many as Kitchen Riffs will make me!

    Absolutely Beautiful dish. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Hi Ansh, lol! The whole celery family has an awful lot to offer, doesn't it? Thanks for the comment.

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  47. John, the think I love most about your blog (aside from your conversations with Mrs. KR) is that I'm always taking away a little tidbit, a tip, a piece of knowledge about something or some technique. In this case...I'm taking away a whole lot. Because I've never ever tried celery root before. But it looks amazing and the dressing looks divine! Plus...you had me intrigued at the 'kinda sorta like french coleslaw'! : )

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    1. Hi Anne, what a nice comment (and thanks for taking the time to write it). Glad you enjoy the conversations with Mrs KR (my favorite part of the blog, too!) and I'm happy you find interesting tidbits in the posts. This recipe is a really winner -- truly worth trying. And it really is kinda sorta like French coleslaw!

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  48. i have actually seen this at the grocery store but I didn't know what it was or how I was supposed to cook it. I honestly thought it was supposed to be used for some herbal recipes...lol.

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    1. Hi cakewhiz, now you know what to do with celeriac! ;-) This recipe is so worth making -- you'll enjoy. Thanks for the comment.

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  49. I have never heard of this ingredient but going through the recipe I believe I will like it :D

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    1. Hi easyfoodsmith, it's really a tasty dish! I love both the mustard and the crunch of the celeriac. Thanks for the comment.

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  50. I love this dish and yours looks terrific. Besides France, you see this served a lot in both Germany and Austria.

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    1. Hi Karen, isn't this a wonderful dish! It's so, so good! Thanks for the comment.

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  51. I ready over at Louise's site that you were dealing with celeriac. I've never tried using it in anything.

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    1. Hi Debra, celeriac is fun stuff, and it's sooo good in this recipe. If you like coleslaw (and mustard) you'll love this. Thanks for the comment.

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  52. This dish sounds wonderful.I need to try this one.

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    1. Hi Dawn, this is definitely worth trying -- it has lovely flavor, and such a great crunch! Thanks for the comment.

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  53. such a simple and great recipe! appreciate you introducing us to celery root!

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    1. Hi Sarah & Arkadi, isn't this nice? Such clear, direct flavor. Thanks for the comment.

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  54. hhhmmmmmm, amazing dish recipe, it look so simple and apetising, so fresh and natural, excellent one :)

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    1. Hi Aurica, isn't this nice? Such clean, direct flavors! Thanks for the comment.

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  55. I'll let you in on a secret -- I've never tried celery root before! Yikes!!

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    1. Hi Kiran, I'll bet a lot of people haven't tried it! This dish is fabulous -- really worth trying. Thanks for the comment.

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  56. If it tastes just like celery I'd totally love this. Until now I am not aware of celery root... It sounds like something I've seen it though. But this remoulade looks delicious, and my curiosity is asking me to go get the root! :)

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    1. Hi Nami, it tastes a little better than celery! You've definitely seen celeriac in your grocery store, but it's pretty easy to ignore. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  57. I love celeriac and remoulade, even though I don't like celery! This looks delicious!

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    1. Hi KB, celeriac doesn't have quite as assertive a flavor as celery IMO, so I can see what you'd like one but not the other. Although I like both! Thanks for the comment.

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