Finishing the Farm Box: "Celery Root Beet Salad"

For the last few years, I've been getting a few celery roots in my CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) box with no idea what they were, how to eat them, or how to cook them.  The celery root (or celeriac) is actually so ugly that I didn't even bother to Google it.  These vegetable monsters would sit in the fridge for a few weeks until they dried up and shriveled, and when they reached maximum hideousness, I tossed them straight into the trash.

I regret this now, of course.

I spent much of the spring reading through Nigel Slater's "Tender," on a quest to figure out what vegetables to grow in my garden.  I was perhaps stricken with so much garden envy that I have temporarily sidelined my growing goals until I can keep the few potted herbs on the porch alive reliably, but boy did I get a few good recipes for vegetables I otherwise ignore out of the experience!

I modified Nigel's "Celery Root and Blood Orange Salad" recipe to suit the findings in my fridge by crossing it with "Celery Root Rémoulade" recipe and landed in a happy, mustardy middle-ground that we enjoyed for dinner while trying to decide if we liked Legion or not.

one medium celery root

2 medium beets

1 cup créme fraîche

the juice of half a lemon

2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard

chopped dill

chopped parsley

Roast beets through your preferred method.  I wash mine, cut off the greens, wrap them in tin foil with a little bit of water and bake them for 40-75 minutes (depending on size and volume) in the oven around 400 degrees.  I start checking them regularly around 40 minutes by opening them up and poking the with a fork, removing when tender.  Afterwards, I leave them to cool in the aluminum foil and then peel the skins off (in the sink for the love of God or else it looks like you've disembowled your cat on the counter) and then chop them up and eat them with glee.

Trader Joe's pre-roasted beets will also serve this purpose if you are short on time.

I peeled the celery root with a knife - as I would a pineapple - cut it into large chunks and tossed it straight in the food processor for a good shredding.

Mix up your salad dressing liquid ingredients (fraîche, mustard, lemon) to taste and then dress the celery root shards.

I did not dress the beets with the celery root because I did not want the entire dish stained pink.  Instead, I put the beets in a bowl, and then added the dressed celery root on top.

Sprinkle with herbs.

If you want to get really fancy about it, I'd try frying up some bacon slices to crumble on top, and even mixing some of the bacon fat into the dressing.