CELERIAC

Apium graveoleus rapaceum

Also known as celery root, celeriac tastes and smells like traditional celery but is cultivated for its massive root.  Because of its ability to keep through the winter with proper storage, celeriac was once a popular crop grown in pre-refrigerator America.  It may look a bit funky but don’t be fooled!  It’s a delicious addition to soups, grated raw onto salads, added to your mashed potatoes, or substituted in any recipe calling for celery.  Celeriac is high in carbohydrates, vitamin C, phosphorus, and potassium.  We store ours in the crisper drawer of the fridge in a plastic bag, and it has lasted up to 6 months.

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Creamy Celeriac Soup
From Farmer John’s Cookbook

3 tbsp butter
3 large leeks, quartered, sliced
1 large celeriac, peeled, roughly chopped (about 3 1/2 cups)
1 large potato, any kind, peeled, chopped roughly
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1/2 cup coarsely chopped almonds
1/4 tsp mace or nutmeg
1/2 cup cream or half-and-half
1 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper

Melt the butter in a large soup pot over medium-high heat.  Add the leeks; cook until soft, 5 to 7 minutes.  Add the celeriac, potato, stock, and almonds; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 25 minutes.  Let the soup cool slightly and then puree it in a food processor or blender.  Return the soup to the pot; stir in the cream, salt, and pepper to taste and heat on low until heated through.

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Horseradish Mashed Potatoes and Celeriac
Based on a recipe from From Asparagus to Zucchini

1 lb celeriac, peeled and cut into chunks
1 lb potatoes, cut into chunks
1 bay leaf
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 cup milk
4 tbsp butter
2 tbsp horseradish
salt and pepper to taste

Combine celeriac, potatoes, bay leaf, and garlic with water to cover; boil until just tender, about 20 minutes.  Drain, remove bay leaf, and return vegetables to pot.  Add milk, butter, and horseradish.  Mash and season with salt and pepper.  Makes 4-6 servings.

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