How to Cook Celery Root (Celeriac)

celeriac celery root

Parsnip and Celeriac

From time to time I like to write about unpopular vegetables. I consider them a challenge, especially root vegetables which tend to be inexpensive and versatile. Today I’m going to talk about one of the least attractive vegetables, celeriac.

It’s easy to confuse celery and celeriac. Celeriac, from the parsley family, is grown for its tasty root, while celery is grown for its stalks and leaves.

I tend not to buy celeriac because it is sold by the unit, making it more expensive than vegetables sold by weight. But it adds an incomparable flavor to my soup stock—delicate and sweet. Smaller roots are tastier than larger ones, but I took a chance and picked up this big one as it was a good buy.  Look for dark green leaves when you buy. The carrot-shaped vegetables on the left are parsnips, or parsley roots, which are used the same way as celeriac.

Celeriac roots are knobby and dirty. To avoid having to cut away too much of the peel, slice the root in circles and cut away the outside edge of each slice. Use quickly to avoid browning, or treat with lemon juice. The flesh should be white and firm.

You can use celeriac leaves in salads and soups, but they are more bitter than celery. To cook the celeriac root, add it to boiling water. Celeriac that began in cold water will also come out bitter.

Fresh celery root can be grated raw into salad, or cooked and served cold. Try pairing it with other root vegetables, like cooked beets or turnips.

I found this recipe for a salad with cooked celeriac. This recipe for mushroom and celeriac quiche includes a pie crust, but you can substitute this easier Oil-Based Pie Crust.

The celeriac was wonderful in my chicken soup, but not as good fresh in my beet salad. I’m not sure whether that was the size or the age of the root that was the problem. Next time I’ll make salad from it as soon as I get it home.

Have you ever used celeriac? Please share your experience in the comments.

You may also enjoy:

Ten Ways to Cook a Turnip

How to Use up Celery

Beet Soup with Ginger and Cumin

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Comments

  1. It’s been a while, but I like to roast celeriac with potato, a little salt and pepper, and maybe some onion. It’s a really good combo.

  2. I have a recipe for potato soup that calls for both celery and celeriac. It’s lovely.
    Roasted with potato sounds good too.

    • Cathy, I may just try that. Thanks for your visit and comment.
      Kate, recipe?
      Melanie, thank you for visiting. Both parsnips and celeriac are not too common in the US, it seems. I saw one article that said celeriac most often ends up in the compost pile.

  3. Melanie says:

    I love Parsnip, I usually roast it with a little bit of salt and pepper. We used to eat it a lot in England, it’s even served in the hospital cantine all time, whereas I hardly ever saw it in the states?

  4. I have a great recipe for vegetable patties I make for Pesach- no frying. On top of it I serve some marinated peppers. if you want the marinated pepper recipe- I’ll dig it up.

    SHREDDED ROOT VEGETABLE PATTIES

    2 large potatoes
    2 large carrots
    1 large celery knob
    3 Tbls lemon juice
    3 eggs
    2 Tbls oil

    Peel potatoes, carrots and celery knob. Shred all vegetables into long shreds. Mix with egg, oil and lemon juice.
    Brush a baking pan with oil. Form batter into 8 patties about 4 inches round. Brush tops with oil. Bake in a preheated oven at 450°F for 35 minutes until edges are crisp.

  5. I’ve been making celeriac for as long as I’ve been in Israel(27 years) and never thought to use your method of peeling. Wow, I learn something new everytime I read your blog, thanks!

  6. Celeriac is also one of those amazing vegetables that work well in a low carb diet. When I was low carbing in 2003-2004 I practically lived on it. Cook and mash as you would a potato, add some cream or a little olive oil, a few spices and herbs and you have something that is just as comfort-foody as mashed potatoes, but with less carbs and less calories.

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