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Celery Root: Looks Like a Softball, Tastes Like Celery

Fine Cooking Issue 69
Photo: Scott Phillips
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What looks like a hairy softball and tastes like celery? It’s a celery root, also know as celeriac, celery knob, or turnip-rooted celery. This funny-looking vegetable is a member of the celery family that’s grown especially for its root, which tastes like a cross between celery and parsley and can be eaten raw or cooked. Try it raw—diced, shredded, or julienned—in salads. Try it cooked by adding it to a soup or stew, or for a delicious twist on mashed potatoes, replace up to half the potatoes with cubed celery root and boil together until both are tender.

When shopping, you might find celery root with its parsley-like leaves still attached; if so, they should look fresh, not wilted. Choose roots with no soft spots. To trim, cut off the leaves and the top and bottom of the root and then slice away the knobby skin until the inner white part of the root appears. Expect a good amount of trim loss due to the uneven surface of the root. Like a potato, peeled celery root turns brown, so drop it in a bowl of cold water or wait to peel until just before you need it.

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