CSA Week 1 – Celery Root Salad

July 29th, 2013 / Comments 0

In our house, a day when something special happens is what John Lennon called ‘a red lettuce day’. Last Thursday was a double red lettuce day because our CSA started and we got a head of red lettuce in our share. CSA is short for Community Supported Agriculture.thumb daisy CSA Week 1   Celery Root SaladIt’s a simple and delightful way for us to connect with the seasons, enjoy fresh, local produce and get to know the people who are growing the food we eat and a way for us to share the benefits and risks of farming with the farmers. If nature cooperates, and the farm flourishes, shares are overflowing, if it doesn’t, farmers and shareholders share the loss.thumb spider CSA Week 1   Celery Root SaladAs a shareholder, in our case a half-share holder, we will be collecting and splitting a weekly bounty of seasonal vegetables, herbs and flowers, with our friends, Kathy and Rick. CSA’s improve cash flow for the farmers and they get to know the people who are eating the food they grow.thumb flowers 01 CSA Week 1   Celery Root SaladAlong with growing food, our CSA is growing community. Pick-up time for shareholders and farmers is a time to chat, to meet babies born over the winter, to resume conversations with six year olds who are about to turn seven, to share pot luck suppers, enjoy music and watch tomatoes and zucchini grow.csa 01 basket CSA Week 1   Celery Root SaladAlong with red lettuce, our share this week included beets and celeriac (the last of the stock from the root cellar), holy bac choy (holy because flea beetles have been nibbling the leaves), arugula and spinach. Celeriac is also called celery root, knob celery or turnip-rooted celery.salad CSA Week 1   Celery Root SaladI made celery root salad as a failsafe first course when Charles and I were hosting dinner parties in Washington, DC. After we picked up our CSA share, we had dinner with Kathy and Rick and I showed them how to make it for a Vermont potluck supper. Here’s how I did it:

Celery Root Salad
1 celery root the size of an apple
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 Tablespoons cider vinegar

Mustard Sauce
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon boiling water
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
4 to 6 Tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

I peeled the celery root with a potato peeler and then cut it into julienne, about the size of wooden kitchen matches and put it into a bowl. To soften and bleach the celery root, I added the salt and two tablespoons of cider vinegar and stirred until the every piece was coated with the vinegar/salt mixture and then set it aside while I made the mustard sauce.

I used a fork to combine the mustard and boiling water. When it was smooth, I beat in the oil, drop by drop, until the sauce was the consistency of mayonnaise. Then, I stirred in the vinegar, a pinch of salt and a grind of black pepper.

After the celery root had steeped in the vinegar/salt mixture for half an hour, I rinsed it well in cold water and dried it with a paper towel. I combined the celery root with enough of the dressing to coat it and put each serving on top of a few rinsed and dried arugula leaves.

This recipe can be doubled or tripled if you are feeding a crowd. Extra mustard sauce, stored in a jar in the fridge, will last a couple of weeks. Instead of steeping it in vinegar and salt, celery root can be softened by dropping it into boiling water for a minute, and then cooling it shocking it in ice water and drying it before dressing it. I used cider vinegar with the salt but lemon or lime juice will also work. This salad improves when refrigerated for a few hours or even over night. Celery root salads will wait for your guests. When I served it as a first course, at formal dinner parties, I put it on the table an hour before our guests arrived.

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Celery Root Salad
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Recipe type: Salad
Author: Carol Egbert
Prep time: 30 mins
Total time: 30 mins
Serves: 4
A crisp salad with a mustard sauce.
Ingredients
  • 1 celery root the size of an apple, peeled and cut into julienne
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 Tablespoons cider vinegar
  • Mustard Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 4 to 6 Tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Arugula or lettuce for garnish
Instructions
  1. Combine celery root with salt and cider vinegar to soften and bleach it.
  2. Set it aside to steep for 30 minutes.
  3. Combine mustard and boiling water until smooth.
  4. Beat in oil, drop by drop, until sauce is the consistency of mayonnaise. Stir in vinegar, salt and black pepper to taste.
  5. Rinse celery root cold water and dry it with a paper towel.
  6. Combined it with enough dressing to coat.
  7. Put each serving on top of rinsed and dried arugula or lettuce.

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