It’s ugly, that’s for sure.
Maybe that’s why so many folks ignore it.
But don’t judge this root by its brown, lumpy cover.
Celery root, or celeriac, is worth getting to know. Its flavor is similar to celery, but its texture says potato, which is why it works well in traditional potato dishes — mashed, tossed in salads with mayonnaise, or baked with cream and cheese.
When you spot celery root at a farmers market, buy some and try it out in this classic gratin, which is a perfect accompaniment for a Sunday dinner beef roast or roasted chicken.
— Lisa Abraham
CELERY ROOT GRATIN
1 cup chicken broth or stock
2 cups heavy cream
2 large celery roots (about 1½ lbs. each)
2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. salt, or to taste
Freshly ground white or black pepper, or to taste
1 cup finely shredded Gruyère cheese
In a large pot, bring the stock or broth and cream to a gentle simmer over medium heat. With a sharp knife, trim the ends off the celery root and remove the peel, carving with the shape of the bulb to retain the curve. Cut each bulb lengthwise into quarters. Add to the pot, cover and cook, turning occasionally, until the pieces are just tender, 20 to 30 minutes.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the pot from the heat. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, transfer the celery roots to a cutting board (reserving the liquid in the pot) and let the pieces sit until cool enough to handle. Cut them into ¼-inch-thick slices.
Layer the slices in a 10-inch gratin or other baking dish, overlapping them slightly. Bring the liquid in the pot to a boil so that it thickens a bit, then whisk in the mustard, salt and pepper to taste. Pour the mixture evenly over the celery root, covering it completely. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, until the liquid is bubbly and the cheese is melted. Serve hot.
Makes 10 servings.
— Adapted from www. latimes.com
Find previous installments of This Week’s Harvest and a list of local farmers markets at www.ohio.com/lifestyle/food.