Cook 1 New Food a Week: Celeriac (and Apple Slaw)

15 Apr

It’s not January but I have a new resolution:  to cook 1 new vegetable (or grain, or other wholesome food) a week.  Lately I’ve been surprised by the number of foods that exist that I haven’t ever tasted or attempted to cook.  How can this be?!  I’m supposed to be a foodie!  More importantly, I’m beginning to realize that I need to know a LOT about food as a dietitian.  Exhibit A:  Last week I came across multiple unfamiliar items while reviewing a patient’s food records.  Sweetsop? Bodi? Eddoe?  Even if the name of the food sounds familiar, it’s tough to have a clue about its nutritional profile if you’ve never tasted or cooked it.

This week I started with a relatively basic vegetable… the humble celeriac, or celery root.  I’ve eaten celeriac at restaurants but never have I been so courageous to tackle this unfortunate looking root at home.  Celeriac is unique amongst root vegetables in that it has a relatively low starch content.  Gram for gram, celeriac has one-third the calories and carbohydrate content of potatoes.  As a result, mashed celeriac (or a mashed potato-celeriac combo) can lighten up a meal and make room for other foods… such as that slice of bread.

Celeriac aka Celery Root

Cooked celeriac has a mellow yet distinguishable flavour– like a milder version of raw celery stalks.  When eaten raw, I’ve read that celeriac is supposed to have a strong and pungent taste.  Interestingly, I felt quite the opposite in this Celeriac Apple Slaw.  The apples and currents provided a whack of sweetness which was balanced by tart lemon and earthy fresh basil.  A perfect spring slaw. And the perfect way to give celeriac a try.

A dismal photo of the Celeriac Apple Slaw (it tastes better than it looks!)


Celeriac Apple Slaw
(from Moosewood Restaurant: Cooking for Health)

1 lemon, zested and juiced
3 cups peeled and grated sweet, firm apples
2.5 cups peeled and grated celeriac
2 tbsp orange juice
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup currants or raisins (I only used 1/4 cup… half a cup seemed like a lot!)
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup minced red onions
1/4 tsp salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper

  1. In a large bowl, combine lemon zest and 3 tablespoons of lemon juice.  Add the grated apples and stir well– the lemon juice will prevent discolouration.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and toss well.  Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Makes 6 cups.  Per 1 cup serving: 96 kcal, 3 g fibre, 3 g fat, 163 mg sodium.

4 Responses to “Cook 1 New Food a Week: Celeriac (and Apple Slaw)”

  1. tracyyy May 6, 2012 at 6:48 pm #

    my journey through your blog post was as such: at first, i thought “celeriac” was an intolerance to celery (like celiac haha)… and then i thought it looked like a brain, or possibly the heart of a tree (if trees had a physical heart). then, i realized it could be something verryyy tasty! thanks for sharing this recipe. looks like a winner! yum! where did you find celeriac?

    • lisa May 6, 2012 at 10:56 pm #

      i love the play-by-play! thanks for commenting, you’re too cute.
      celeriac is commonly found at your standard canadian grocery store… not so sure about those in australia!

      • tracyyy May 6, 2012 at 10:58 pm #

        Ah! No, the standard grocery stores have a surprising limited variety of fruits and veggies… but that might have SOMETHING to do Australia being a continent in the middle of a very very large ocean.


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    […] my attempt to cook one new food a week, I recently tackled a grain that’s rarely consumed in North America:  millet.  Millet is a […]

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