Celeraic (also known as celery root) is one of two varieties of celery that has been cultivated over the years from wild celery that is native to Europe and parts of temperate Asia. In celeriac, the base of the plant is enlarged and looks like a gnarly root vegetable. Don’t be turned off by its looks, as it has a deeper and sweeter flavor than the familiar celery ribs.
Celeriac can be eaten both cooked and grated raw for salads. For cooking purposes, this root vegetable takes well to soups, purees, and gratins. The root needs to be scrubbed well and peeled. To peel the root, cut the top and bottom ends off to create a stable surface and then using your knife, cut away the peel in a downward motion. If you have a heavy duty peeler, you can try using that if the root is not to knobby. Cut pieces turn brown quickly, so place cut pieces in a bowl of water acidulated with lemon juice or vinegar. If you prefer to use the entire vegetable, any pairings from peeling can be put in a vegetable stock. Take time to remove and save the green ribs before storing, which can be added to stocks or soups.
The root will store for several weeks in a plastic bag in your refrigerator. Celeriac goes well with butter, cream, walnuts, hazelnuts, Gruyere cheese, parsley, mustard, potatoes, apples, mushrooms, and wild rice.