after many weeks of soups, stews, and curries, i wanted some texture and crispness in my food. this celariac salad is perfect, seasonal salad that can easily be multiplied for guests and keeps well in the fridge, making for a good light lunch, especially after all of those cookies. celaraic or celery root is a big, knobby, often dirty vegetable that doesn’t get used much, except for maybe pureed into a delicious creamy soup or in celery remoulade. after you peel it, celery root has a really light, soft celery flavor and a satisfying crunchy texture. celariac is extremely versatile and delicious mashed, roasted, or raw, like it is here. i combined the celariac with fennel and tart green apple to round out the flavors and garnished with some chopped toasted almonds and a supremed red grapefruit. pretty much any dressing would be suitable for this combination, but i made a yogurt grapefruit vinaigrette that pulled together all of the flavors and prevented any oxidation of the apple. you could take this salad in a different direction by leaving out the grapefruit and tossing the salad with a mustardy vinaigrette and shaves of parmesan. if you have a mandolin, this is definitely the time to use it. if you don’t, simply thinly slice all of the vegetables and practice your knife skills.
inspired from bon appetit
2 small or 1 medium celariac, cleaned, peeled and julienned
1 medium bulb of fennel, cleaned and sliced thinly
1 unpeeled, tart apple (i used granny smith) julienned
1 large grapefruit, supremed, reserving all of the juice from the membranes
handful (big or small) almonds, roughly chopped and toasted
roughly torn parsley leaves and chopped fennel fronds
1 small shallot, diced fine
2 tbsp sherry or a good cider vinegar
1-2 tbsp plain yogurt (or maybe use a bit of buttermilk or a splash of cream)
juice reserved from grapefruit
about 1/4 cup light tasting olive oil
combine the celariac, fennel, and apple in a large bowl and season lightly with kosher salt and pepper. combine the shallots, vinegar, yogurt, and grapefruit in a small bowl and gradually whisk in the olive oil. taste and season. dress the vegetables lightly with the vinaigrette. portion into bowls and top with grapefruit segments, toasted almonds, and herbs. crunch crunch crunch.
ps- when i ate this with my roommate, she said that it reminded her of a salad at the slanted door here in sf. high praise!