Celery Root Is a Key to This Fresh, Vibrant Slaw

All photos by Thomas Lawn.

For a month only lousy with socially engineered dietary austerity, Jan certain doesn’t move an array of Technicolor-bright, rarely ‘grammable uninformed furnish to market. There’s a certain beauty to a inside of a red cabbage or a conduct of romanesco, yet as a group, winter vegetables aren’t many to demeanour at. Celery root—celeriac if you’re posh—is distant and divided a ugliest of a bunch, and it’s also my favorite base unfeeling of all time. What delights distortion underneath a filthy, disfigured hide? Let’s find out!

If we can trust it, celery base is a base of a celery plant. Like many North American base vegetables, it’s harvested after a initial ice and is accessible all winter. Thanks to this new-fangled thing called “global warming,” a initial ice came rather late this year, that competence explain because we found dual gorgeous, uninformed celery roots with stalks and leaves trustworthy during my internal Whole Foods in early January. (I’d designed on scoping out a year-round farmer’s marketplace in Rittenhouse Square for some truly seasonal, internal produce, yet a explosve storm forced a closure.) They’re tough to find outward of farmer’s markets, CSAs, and grocery stores with an endless furnish selection, so keep that in mind when tracking one down. Choose celery roots that feel complicated for their distance and are minimally pitted; any stalks or leaves trustworthy should demeanour fresh, not wilted or slimy. You’ll never find a ideally well-spoken specimen, yet plumper roots with comparatively frozen skin will be easier to flay than shrunken, shriveled ones.

Depending on your palate, celery base tastes like possibly a nuttier, sweeter, earthier chronicle of celery stalks or a milder, celery-tinged parsnip. Hacking divided a tough extraneous reveals ivory strength with a hardness utterly distinct other base vegetables, that are poignant and frail when raw. Even uninformed out of a ground, celery base doesn’t have that evil snap; it’s softer and some-more flexible, both literally and figuratively. Imagine a soothing apple, like a McIntosh or Golden Delicious, yet though any graininess during all. It’s kind of like that, crossed with a somewhat sinewy structure of a parsnip.

Celery root’s singular hardness lends itself to any credentials we can chuck during it. I’ve churned it adult with potatoes for a juicy mash, roasted it whole, chopped it adult and caramelized it in brownish-red butter, ribboned it with a peeler for fritters, and combined trappings to duck stock—but my favorite approach to eat celery base is raw. One of my superpowers is winning friends with salad, and this one—julienned celery base and apples tossed with some shallot, hella uninformed herbs, and an addictive honey-garlic Dijonnaise—is executive to my start story. I’ve never brought it anywhere yet receiving during slightest 3 requests for a recipe, customarily from people who were deeply doubtful about it before their initial bite.

Celery Root and Apple Slaw

I’ve been eating celery base prepared this approach for seventeen years, that is how prolonged my mom’s been removing a CSA box from Roxbury Farm. The year 2000 brought such a fender stand of celery base that a excellent folks during Roxbury Farm enclosed a recipe for a tender salad featuring a weird, knobbly tuber. Like all a best recipes, a elementary approach to fast allot with several pounds of celery base became a loving family staple. we no longer have a strange recipe, so this is my possess (very faithful!) adaptation—I only use utterly a bit some-more parsley, salt, and mayo.


As written, this serves 4 as a side or dual as an entrée. There will be additional dressing, that is intentional; a fabricated salad gets waterlogged and unhappy after 2 days, yet a sauce keeps for upwards of a week. Use a leftovers on another collection of this slaw or any sad, slow salad greens that need to get eaten.


For a dressing

  • ½ crater mayonnaise (or vegan mayo)
  • ½ crater apple cider vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 Tb honey, and some-more to ambience (maple syrup or brownish-red sugarine work, too)
  • 1 Tb well-spoken Dijon mustard, and some-more to taste
  • 2 tsp excellent sea salt (use somewhat reduction list salt or somewhat some-more kosher salt, depending on what we have)
  • Lots of creatively burst black pepper

For a salad

  • ½ shallot
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 vast celery base weighing between ¾ – 1 lb, entirely rinsed and dried
  • 1 vast apple, any kind (except Red Delicious, that are garbage)
  • 1 crater chopped uninformed parsley, celery leaves, or a reduction of both
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


Make a sauce first. Combine all mixture solely a peppers in a play or soup enclosure and routine with a hang blender until smooth. (You can also use a unchanging blender or food processor here.) Taste and supplement some-more mustard, honey, and/or salt if needed. This salad should be dressed as easily as possible, so make certain your sauce is aggressive. Once you’re confident with a altogether seasoning, impulse copiousness of black peppers in and stir to combine. Cover with cosmetic hang and set aside while we make a salad.

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