Celeriac is a delicious root vegetable with a subtle flavour that should be in your kitchen repertoire. If you have never used it, or don’t even know what it is read on to learn more and find out what you are missing!
So What is Celeriac?
If you haven’t discovered celeriac yet, you should! Light, delicious and packed with goodness, this vegetable is so versatile.
Sometimes called celery root, traditionally it works well with game and darker meat. There’s so much more to than that, though.
Celeriac was popular across the Mediterranean in classical times, credited with many healing properties. It fell into abeyance in many regions in the Middle Ages, to resurface in the 17th and 18th centuries.
This knobbly root is subtle but full of flavour, and the texture is less dense than potatoes. Although celeriac is often forgotten in the UK, it is popular across much of Europe.
Celeriac can take centre stage in some fabulous vegetarian dishes and makes wonderful velvety soups, casseroles and bakes. Try it as a lighter and more flavourful alternative to potatoes, or enjoy it raw and crisp in salads.
What is celeriac called in America?
We generally use the term celeriac in the UK. In the US, however, this vegetable is often known as celery root. Whichever term the recipe uses, it’s the same thing.
Lower in calories than potatoes and other starchy roots, celery root is high in vitamins K and C. It’s also great for several essential minerals (especially potassium).
Where to buy celeriac
Celeriac is now available in most British supermarkets, and you will also find it on markets and in vegetable boxes.
Choose celeriac that feels solid and heavy. Larger specimens can turn out to be hollow, with poor texture, so don’t be too greedy.
Avoid any that have dark discoloured patches and choose smoother examples over the more knobbly ones.
A freshly harvested celeriac will still have some green showing, and this is a good one to choose, though celeriac will store well for months.
Is celeriac the same as celery?
Celeriac, the root vegetable is part of the same family as stick celery and they are close relatives. You simply grow different varieties, depending on whether you want a subtle and succulent root or crisp stems.
Can you eat celeriac stalks?
Yes, you can. If your celeriac is still very fresh, you can eat them as you would celery, raw or in all sorts of recipes.
They will taste very much like the celery that is bred for stems and leaf, though they may be less crisp.
What does celeriac taste like?
As you might expect, celeriac has a hint of celery flavour, but it lacks the astringency of the stems. In fact, you may dislike celery but still enjoy celeriac. Please give it a chance!
The flavour is subtle, nutty and absolutely delicious. It has a faint earthy note, but is light in texture.
Celeriac is a good match for dark meats and game, but can also pair well with fish. It works very well in many vegetarian dishes too.
You can also eat it raw in a salad, celeriac remoulade is a French classic, as well as enjoy it cooked.
Is celeriac low carb?
Celeriac is nutritious but low in carbohydrates, and makes a great substitute for potatoes, it is fantastic mashed or as fries.
This makes it an excellent choice for anyone on a keto or other low carbohydrate diet.
How to grow celeriac
If you are a keen gardener, you can of course grow you own, and have the satisfaction of enjoying your own produce.
It is hardier and more disease resistant than celery. Learn more on how to grow celeriac.
How to cook celeriac
Celeriac is not difficult to prepare and cook, but it can be intimidating to work with a vegetable you have never used before, especially with all those knobbles and bumps on the root!
Read my post on how to cook celeriac for a full description of how to prepare and work with this delicious vegetable and a round up of my favourite celeriac recipes, such as roasted celeriac, an unusual side dish, and celeriac gratin, which makes a tempting vegetarian main.
If you haven’t cooked with celeriac before, I hope have convinced you to give this delicious vegetable a chance. It may find a regular place in your kitchen. Happy cooking!