I really don’t know why I haven’t made this before.
Céleri rémoulade, a classic of French cuisine, is absolutely delicious. And it even improves in flavor, if not looks, over time. (You see, celeriac, also known as celery root, has a tendency to brown when it is exposed to air. You can minimize the effect by having the rémoulade dressing ready to go when you grate the celeriac, but after a few days in the fridge, chemistry wins.)
It’s also one of the easiest things I’ve ever made. I’ve never made it before, yet I dove right in, without even consulting a recipe. Remoulade is a mayonnaise-based sauce not unlike tartar sauce, which I do off-the-cuff anyway. So I winged it. Two or three heaping soup spoons of mayonnaise (I used store-bought, but I’m sure it would be even better with homemade), two coffee spoons of capers, chopped, a minced shallot, two heaping coffee spoons of grainy mustard, the leaves of about six stems of parsley, chopped, and several twists of black pepper from the mill. (You’ll notice I used curly parsley, but that’s only because I couldn’t find any flat-leaf at the store.) And that’s it for the dressing. Mix it all together, taste it, and then get going on the celery root.
Scrub and peel the celeriac, cut it into pieces that are manageable for your grater, and grate away. If I had my Cuisinart, you can be sure I’d use it to make fast work of the grating. Then simply mix the shredded celery root into the remoulade. It should be mostly vegetable – the dressing is just that: dressing. It shouldn’t be gloppy at all. In fact, when I was mixing it I wondered if maybe I should add more mayonnaise, but in the end I’m glad I didn’t.
And there you have it! A classic French appetizer salad. It’s certainly going to be a staple in my winter cooking repertoire, giving me just one more reason to look forward to this tasty root vegetable showing up in my CSA share.
On this day in 2008: Worthwhile French Beers: Les 3 Brasseurs
Originally published on Croque-Camille.