09 December 2010
On the First Day of Veggie Christmas: Celery Root and Apple Remoulade
When we lived in San Francisco we bought all our vegetables from a wonderful organic CSA called Marquita Farms. Every other week we'd pick up a garbage bag full of all sorts of interesting vegetables including heirloom varieties and other things I'd never heard of (agretti anyone?). Pick-up day was filled with anticipation: what kinds of goodies would we find this time? We looked forward to the surprise so much that we began to call it "Veggie Christmas."
Leaving Marquita Farms was possibly the hardest thing about moving from San Francisco. Santa Monica has great farmers markets -- especially the Wednesday market -- but I don't see the variety that Marquita Farms offered. I select the same vegetables each week and use the same preparations.
On a recent trip to Whole Foods I noticed an assortment of root vegetables I'd been completely overlooking. Part of what made the CSA so fun was not only that we got to try something new every couple weeks, but the intention and excitement we brought to the offering. So, to break out of my veggie rut, I'm reviving Veggie Christmas.
Over the next week I'm going to try one new vegetable or vegetable preparation a day, and will share the recipes and results with you. This will culminate in a full Veggie Christmas, with a feast of vegetables and wine on Friday, December 17.
On the first day on Veggie Christmas, Whole Foods brought to me, a celery root. Because I was feeling inspired by San Francisco, I started my root vegetable recipe search by turning to the roots of California cuisine: Alice Waters. I was tempted by a recipe for Celery Root Remoulade in Chez Panisse Vegetables. I then referenced The Flavor Bible by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg for their suggestions of what flavors to match with Celery Root. The following recipe is mostly Alice's, with a dash of inspiration from Karen and Andrew.
The mayonnaise makes this a fairly heavy dish. I'd planned to have this as a first course to a longer meal, but my husband and I were too full to continue. The dish is fairly bright, floral and lemony. If you want to round out the acidity and turn it into a more complete meal, add roughly chopped pecans or almonds.
Celery Root and Apple Remoulade; serves 4.
Adapted from Chez Panisse Vegetables, by Alice L. Waters (William Morrow Cookbooks, 1996)
A pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons Dijon mustad
1/2 cup homemade cooked mayonnaise (recipe below)
1/2 teaspoon crushed coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon dried chives
1 medium celery root, peeled
1 large Fuji Apple, peeled
+ Whisk together salt, pepper, coriander seeds, lemon juice, mustard and mayonnaise.
+ Cut celery root and apple into 1/8 inch julienne, or grate using largest setting. Toss with sauce.
+ Let stand at least 15 minutes to let the flavors meld, then serve garnished with parsley.
Homemade Cooked Mayonnaise
Adapted from How to Cook Everything: Simple Recipes for Great Food, by Mark Bittman (Wiley, 1998)
1 egg yolk
1tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon water
Dash of cayenne
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 cup olive oil
+Gently whisk egg yolk in small saucepan.
+Add lemon juice and water. Whisk.
+Cook over low heat stirring constantly. Remove from heat once the mixture coats the back of the spoon.
+Using a food processor or blender, mix the egg, cayenne, mustard, salt, pepper, lemon juice and 1/4 cup of the olive oil.
+ Add the rest of the oil in in small amounts, blending between each addition, or in a slow, steady stream while blending.
A Veggie Merry Christmas - to you!