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Celeriac Remoulade – and Learning

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Two salads RemouladeAs you may have noticed, I’ve been looking for salads that I can make in the winter, with winter vegetables (mostly root vegetables.) I knew that a classic French dish I had heard of was Celeri Rémoulade, made with celery root, also known as celeriac.

I haven’t seen celery root around in a typical grocery store, but I see it in farmer’s markets – and I never really knew what to do with it. I know it tastes like celery (well, because it is, really – just a form grown for the root, not the stems.)

So – I went to Greenmarket, bought my celeriac (which is kind of small…) and came home happily. I took out my Larousse Gastronomique – the arbiter of classic French cooking (I was fortunate to inherit a copy, from the 60’s) and looked up Celeri Rémoulade.

Which wasn’t there.

All right, now… Celery root was, with direction for sautéing, pureeing,and stuffing. No mention of chilled in a sauce. So, I look up Rémoulade. It’s there (that’s a relief…) but without any mention of celeriac – just a two line description of a mayonnaise based sauce (sounding remarkably like tartar sauce… pickles and things…)

Why did I think this was a classic dish, and where on earth had I heard of it?

My old Joy of Cooking just says to serve celeriac in mayonnaise. The new one does suggest rémoulade – though in the recipe for that, in turn it doesn’t mention celeriac…  but meat and fish. On the other hand, its tartar saucy recipe does include mustard – Larousse had not – and that was in my vague recollection…  The Food Lover’s Companion has a similar description – also with fish and meat…

I poked around more in my books – and poked, poked, poked the Internet… and found more…  It seems that Celeri Remoulade is less a Classic of Fine French Cooking than something you’ll find sold by the pound in any charcuterie, or piled next to your sandwich in the local bistro. Basically, I’m trying to find the recipe for cole slaw.

Rémoulade sauce itself exists in many forms, is served on open sandwiches in Denmark, with French fries in Belgium, and (with lots of paprika added) with cold boiled shrimp in Louisiana. I found most recipes had mayonnaise and mustard – but Julia Child leaves out the mayo altogether, and other sources either substitute or add créme fraiche. Some sources leave out the mustard (though some have a note that there is already mustard in French mayonnaise…) Larousse and others call for capers – but people living in France say they’ve never seen capers in it. I think I have some freedom, here…

Mixing Remoulade sauceI decided I was going with mayonnaise and mustard – and, sure, I’d add capers… I have capers… (Think carefully before you buy a quart sized jar of capers. Sure, they keep – but who really uses that many?) I made the sauce first, as celery root discolors when cut. I just used a good commercial mayonnaise, and a nice grainy mustard. My mustard was made with just vinegar and salt, with the mustard seed – ingredients like honey or horseradish would change the flavor. I also added capers, and just a bit of lemon juice (Bottled, alas – that’s what I had on hand… fresh would have been preferable.)

Trimming celeriacI then grated the celery root. First, I trimmed the daylights out of it. The annoying thing about this vegetable, to me, has always been that it is gnarly, and you can’t just peel it, you really have to trim it. Washing won’t get the dirt out, the peel is tough – cut it all off…  If you don’t cut deeply enough, you get pockets of peel (and dirt,often… in the first picture, it’s not trimmed enough.) Just take a big sharp knife, and cut away.Trimmed celriac

I’d seen some warnings not to grate it too finely, so I used my box grater which has a coarse section, instead of pulling out my mini food processor. I piled the grated celeriac into a bowl, and stirred in enough of the sauce to bring it all together.

Then… I wondered… I have these kohlrabi, which made a nice grated salad… so I peeled and grated that – and mixed it with sauce in a separate bowl. Then I put them both in the fridge, to marinate. I also have a dab of sauce left – I’ll experiment further with that!

Dressing celeriacIt should marinate a couple of hours, but we had some just an hour later for lunch. It was good, but Rich thought a bit too chewy… We ate more at dinner, though, and then it was delicious – the time in the sauce softens the celery root, as well as letting it absorb the flavor. We liked the kohlrabi, too – in fact, I’m just mixing them together to put away, and I’m really more likely to make that again…  just because the kohlrabi is more readily available for me. Kohlrabi Remoulade – a brand new classic New York dish??

 

Remoulade Sauce
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Recipe Image

Ingredients

  • 1 c mayonnaise
  • 2 T prepared mustard
  • 1 T capers
  • 1 T Lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients together.
  2. The sauce can be used to dress a salad of grated celeriac. It can also be served with sandwiches, fries, cold meat and seafood, or anywhere you want a rich, tangy cold sauce.
7.8.1.2
118
https://www.inhabitedkitchen.com/celeriac-remoulade/


Remoulade Sauce
Save RecipeSave Recipe
Recipe Image

Ingredients

  • 1 c mayonnaise
  • 2 T prepared mustard
  • 1 T capers
  • 1 T Lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients together.
  2. The sauce can be used to dress a salad of grated celeriac. It can also be served with sandwiches, fries, cold meat and seafood, or anywhere you want a rich, tangy cold sauce.
7.8.1.2
19
https://www.inhabitedkitchen.com/celeriac-remoulade/

 

 

 

 

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11 thoughts on “Celeriac Remoulade – and Learning”

  • I used to have it all the time as a child! True, we eat it a bit like coleslaw! I feel like eating it now! (too early though) Mel #RecipeoftheWeek
    • Celery root is unusual, here, so, while I've heard of the recipe, I'd never had it. Which made the whole process funny (which is the reason I explained it all.) Culture shift... It's really easy, though, and good, and I'll be seeing what other vegetables I can prepare this way. I bet ordinary white turnips would work nicely - and, unlike celery root and kohlrabi, they're in every supermarket...
    • Thanks! I'm loving the variety of salads I find I can make with vegetables available at this time of year. And it pushed me to try things I really hadn't, before - none of these is common in American supermarkets, but the farmer's markets are starting to run in the winter and carry them. We've tended to depend on fresh produce from California - which isn't as fresh as one might like, by the time it gets to New York, though it's lovely on the West Coast - so have neglected the winter vegetables.
  • Hi Anne, I love celeriac remoulade or "céleri rémoulade" as we say in French! Celeriac is quite easy to find in France and in the UK especially at this time of the year. But to be honest I think people eat it less and less which is a shame. This is a great winter veg! I like it cooked as well as a mash but the best is with a spicy mayo like rémoulade ;-) #recipeoftheweek
    • So many of the good winter vegetables have drifted out of use... it's really a pity. The farmer's markets are starting to push back, though - with the elocavore movement, peole around here are starting to look for vegetables in winter, so it's worth it for the farmers to grow them, so more people know about and look for them - we're finally cycling in the right direction! For years, I had refused to buy parnsips in supermarkets, because they charged a premium for poor wilted things - the assumption was that no one wanted something so boring... but now, finally, I can get good fresh ones at the farmer's market. Celeriac is still a bit exotic, here - but so was kohlrabi until one farmer planted fields of it and sold it all last winter... this year, several have it. So I can hope. And one of these days, I'll try it mashed - that should be good!
  • That sounds tasty enough that I might give celeriac another try, although I admit I'm far more tempted by the idea of turnips. I also admit that I for one was absolutely overjoyed when I finally discovered quart jars of capers! ;> I find the ones in supermarkets to be the "convenient single-serving size" when I make chicken piccata, and they're indispensible for my tuna salad. I also randomly toss some into Iberian-inspired and Mediterranean in general glops.
    • Well... my tolerance for quart jars of capers is probably influenced both by my smallish apartment refrigerator and by the fact that, when I'd finally used up the one that came with Rich, I inherited another from his parents... I must admit, I am getting used to having them around - and I really should use them more in salads and things. The jar tends to migrate to the back (because it's big enough to be awkward, and not used regularly) and then I forget about it...
  • Ooooh, they look unusual - in a very good way! Would love to try this. Thanks for joining in with #recipeoftheweek. I've Pinned and Tweeted this post and there's a fresh linky live now. You might have already popped over but if not, please do!

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