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Celery root can be eaten raw and is popularly grated or spiralized and tossed into salads, grain bowls, or fruit salads. The corm is also utilized in many cooked applications such as blanching, boiling, mashing, stewing, and roasting. Before cooking, the rough skin should be removed, and the white flesh should be soaked in a milk bath or in acidulated water to prevent the flesh from browning. Once prepared, Celery root can be utilized as a non-starchy substitute for potatoes for any meal and can be prepared similarly. Celery root can be cut into fries, mashed, roasted as a vegetarian “steak,” boiled and diced for a take on potato salad, pureed for soup, or sliced and baked into chips. Celery root pairs well with herbs such as rosemary, cilantro, and parsley, cheeses such as gruyere and blue, toasted walnuts, fruits such as pears and apples, ginger, capers, tomatillos, and meats such as steak, poultry, and fish. The corm will keep up to three weeks when wrapped in a paper towel in an unsealed plastic bag and stored in the refrigerator.
Celery root can be prepared in a surprising number of ways. We find that celeriac works well individually or combined with other ingredients to add an extra burst of celery flavor.
Simply combine celeriac, potatoes and garlic in a large pot of boiling water and cook until fork-tender; about 15 minutes. Drain and mash with butter, milk, salt and pepper before serving. See the full recipe for Celeriac & Garlic Mashed Potatoes.
Preheat your oven to 475°F. Peel one large celeriac root and cut it into matchsticks; then lay them out on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with garlic powder, chopped rosemary, pepper and salt and bake for approximately 40 minutes, tossing halfway through.
Preheat your oven to 450°F. Peel and cube one medium celeriac root and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast on a sheet pan for 20-25 minutes; then add cooked bacon and fresh thyme and roast for an additional 20 minutes.
Next time you’re at the grocery store and come across one of these hairy, brown roots, don’t be afraid to pick it up. Celeriac has so many delicious possibilities.
Cape Town and surrounding areas
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