Celery Root
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Though it is often called “celery root,” Celeriac is not actually the root of the familiar green stalks of Celery we find in every grocery store.  In fact, if you saw them growing in the ground, you wouldn’t be likely to think they are closely related.  However, the truth is celery and Celeriac are very closely related and are variations of the same plant, Apium graveolens.   And most importantly for us cooks, in addition to their close genetic coding they share a similar “celery-like” taste.
 
Celeriac originated in the Mediterranean basin and also grows wild in Northern Europe, Southwestern Asia and North America.  Mediterranean gardeners began to breed it hundreds of years ago (in The Odyssey its name is “selinon”).  It began to spread throughout Europe during the Middle Ages and is mentioned in late 16th century writings.  Its first-known written reference in North America was around 1806.  Today, Celeriac is a staple in European cuisines.  It is used less often in North America, though its popularity seems to be growing.
Season

Celery Root peak season is in the Fall.

Availability

Celery Root is available all year long.

Cultivation

All parts of Celeriac are edible, but it is mainly grown for its large, bulbous hypocotyl, a stem section of the plant which looks like a root and develops partly above and partly below ground.  In fact, you could describe Celeriac as the Root Vegetable version of celery.  The hypocotyl has a gnarled skin covered with hairy rootlets and is rather unattractive, giving life to another of Celeriac’s nicknames, the “vegetable octopus” (it’s also called “knob celery,” “apio” and “turnip-rooted celery.”)  But when trimmed and Peeled the ugly duckling hypocotyl turns into an ivory-colored swan.  It has a nutty, slightly spicy, celery-like flavor and is crisp and crunchy when eaten Raw and has a Potato-like creaminess when cooked.

Portion Size

Allow 1/4 of a Celery Root per person.

Pairings

Hazelnuts, Pecans, Allspice, Basil, Bay Leaf, Celery Leaves, Chervil, Coriander, Dill, Fennel Leaves, Fennel Seeds, Lovage, Marjoram, Nutmeg, Oregano, Paprika, Pepper, Sage, Salt, Tarragon, Thyme, Apples, Beets, Capers, Carrots, Celery, Celery Leaves, Chives, Garlic, Leeks, Mushrooms, Olives, Onions, Parsnips, Potatoes, Rutabagas, Beef, Chicken, Poultry, Seafood, Veal, Butter, Cream, Creme Fraiche, Cheese, Mayonnaise, Oils, Olive Oil, Rice, Mustard, Vinegar, Salads, Soups, Stews, Stocks

Substitutes

Celery, Celery Seeds, Rutabaga, Turnip

Nutritional Value USDA
CELERIAC,RAW
Amount Per 100g
Calories 42
%Daily Value*
 
0%
Total Fat 0g
0%
Saturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
0%
Cholesterol 0mg
4%
Sodium 100mg
6%
Potassium 300mg
3%
Total Carbohydrate 9g
4%
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 1g
Protein 1g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Gluten Free

Yes

Low Fat

Yes

Low Calorie

Yes