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Celery and Celeriac

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Celeriac salads

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Celeriac Salads

Fresh from the garden celeriac has a tingling aroma that lifts its earthy nuttiness, especially when grated raw and made into a salad. Dressed simply with mustard and mayonnaise it makes a delicious rémoulade or with added cabbage an excellent slaw. These salads can be made a little in advance of the meal, certainly an hour beforehand, and kept in the fridge, but much more than that and the flavours will cease to be distinct.
If using your own, homegrown celeriac, first scrape off the earth into the compost bucket (it is supposed to take 100 years to create an inch of soil) and then give the root a good scrub. Peel as best you can: if it is very convoluted and there are thick side roots that are too fiddly, use them for making stock for a celeriac soup.
Once you have peeled and clean chunks of celeriac, grate them coarsely, easiest with a food processor. Then quickly put them into the dressing and mix thoroughly so that all the shreds are coated. Though I don’t find it discolours readily, you don’t want to leave it lying around for long.

Each serves 4                                                                                                   Time taken 20 minutes

Celeriac saladCeleriac Rémoulade
450g celeriac, approx
juice 1 lemon
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon, at least, Dijon mustard
pepper and salt to taste

First mix the mayonnaise and mustard and add enough lemon juice, salt and pepper to make a strong tangy dressing. Then grate the celeriac and tip straight into the dressing. Mix well and pile into a clean bowl.

Celeriac and Cabbage Slaw
400g celeriac, approx
250g prepared cabbage
juice ½ lemon
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
1½ tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon ground caraway seeds
Make the dressing with the mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard and caraway. Taste and adjust, adding salt and pepper if you want.
Shred the cabbage and add to the dressing, stir to mix. Then grate the celeriac, add that to the slaw and mix again. Add a little more mayonnaise if the dressing seems meager and taste again.

Both these salads compliment any pork dish but they are also lovely with baked potatoes and grated cheese. Make them often in the winter and enjoy their crisp freshness.