Celery Root Rémoulade With Beets and Sausage

My resolve for the winter is get more fruits and vegetables into my diet. I’m a creature of habit cooking the same old recipes for weeknight dinners and bookmarking the new healthier guys for the weekend. I’ve always been good about getting a lot veggies to the table but in the winter months they’re occupied by rice, pasta or bread. The carb rich diet is a tough habit to break.

Enter celery root or celeriac. I got a few in my farm box this past fall and made into simple soups (see below). I liked it. Scary looking at first but once you trim off the barky exterior the root smells just like celery—fresh, crisp with parsley notes.

You can find celery root at winter farmer’s markets and grocery stores like Whole Foods. They vary in size from a small apple to a large cantaloupe. The root I’m modeling above is quite large. It’s high in fiber, potassium, magnesium and vitamin B6 (key for curing the winter blues).

If you don’t yet own Nigel Slater’s Tender go now and buy it! A collection of recipes accounting tales from his vegetable garden in London, the book offers me inventive ways to cook the classics. And gives me new ideas for all those veggies in my farm box each week—A whole chapter is dedicated to celery root! The produce and growing season are very similar in London to New England so don’t worry about funky ingredients. It’s the kind of cooking inspiration I’ve been searching for—simple, unfussy but modern.

Celery Root Rémoulade With Beets and Sausage
This recipe is adapted from Slater’s Celery Root Rémoulade—a contemporary version featured in Tender. I paired the rémoulade with a garlic apple pork sausage picked up from Whole Foods. The root I had was so large I was able to incorporated half into this recipe and set aside the rest to pair with Apple-Stuffed Pork Loin With Moroccan Spices later this week.

the juice of half a lemon (I had to use a whole lemon because my celery root was so big)
1 pound celery root
a raw medium beet
2 teaspoons whole grain mustard
4 tablespoons crème fraîche
a little olive oil or walnut oil
handful of fresh parsley
handful of walnut halves

Squeeze half a lemon into a large bowl. Peel the rough skin off the celery root using a knife. Grate using a hand grater or a food processor. Incorporate into the bowl with the lemon to keep the root from discoloring. Grate the beet and set aside. In Slater’s version he incorporated directly into the root mixture. I kept it seperate for the time being.

Put the crème fraîche and mustard in a bowl, stir. Season with S+P. Gently mix in enough oil to make a coating consistency. Mix together with a fork or whisk. Coarsely chop the parsley and incorporate to mixture. Set aside.

Heat a skillet to cook sausages. Cook till browned and cooked through.

I then stirred the crème fraîche mixture into the celery root till well incorporated. Then, tossed in very lightly the beets so the whole salad didn’t turn pink. No such luck but I did have some white remaining. Toast the walnuts and scatter over salad. Serve with sausage on the side.

More recipe ideas
David Lebovitz: Celery Root Soup
Mark Bittman: Creamy Curried Celery Root Soup

Celery root with crème fraîche mixture

Beets grated in food processor

Plating lunch

Celery Root Rémoulade With Beets and Sausage

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Rustic Winter Potato Leek Tart

On New Year’s Eve I spent the day in the kitchen cooking wintry treats. For lunch, we had Martha’s Alsatian Potato Pie featured in her cookbook, New Pies & Tarts. I spotted a similar version in Nigel Slater’s, Tender. In Slater’s version (click for preview of recipe) he uses cheddar and crème fraîche rather then Gruyere and cream. For dessert I made La Tartine Gourmande’s Petits Pots de Crème in vanilla and chocolate! So good!

This tart is perfect for a cold winter day. We haven’t had any snow but a few raw days that remind us it’s surely around the corner. Hearty potatoes pair well with leeks and warms your bones on days it seems impossible to break the chill.

Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Alsatian Potato Pie.

3 (about 1 1/2 pounds) Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch slices
Coarse salt
1 cup heavy cream
5 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium leek, white and light-green parts only (I used two and will probably use 3-4 next time)
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 large egg yolk
1 (14 ounces) frozen puff pastry, (such as Dufour), thawed
All-purpose flour, for work surface
1 1/2 cups grated Comte or Gruyere cheese

Cover potatoes with water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add a pinch of salt; cook until just tender, 13 to 15 minutes. Drain. Mash and let cool.

Meanwhile, bring 3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons cream, the garlic, and nutmeg to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook mixture until reduced by half. Season with salt and pepper; set aside.

And one more pan to clean; which makes me bonkers! Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add leeks; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in parsley; season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Divide thawed puff pastry onto a lightly floured surface. Mine was square so I kept it’s square shape. Martha made hers into a long rectangle.

Whisk together 1 large egg yolk with 1 tablespoon of cream. You’ll use this to seal the pastry and create a glaze over the top.

Scatter the mashed potatoes on the pastry, then layer with leek and Gruyere making sure to leave a 1/4″ inch border. Photos below. I was able to do two layers; 1. potato/leek/cheese/ 2. potato/cheese. I wish I had cooked more leeks because my second layer lacked leeks. Yes, I could have used less leek in the first layer but I’m my taste buds are telling me the leekier the better! Top with the other piece of thawed pastry. Crimp the edges and brush with egg wash.

Make a few slits in the top of the tart (you’ll pour the heavy cream mixture in the slits during the cooking process.) Stick the tart in the fridge for about 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Remove the tart from the fridge and place in the preheat oven to cook for 35 minutes or until the tart is golden brown and puff. Remove the tart and pour the reduced cream mixture into the slits taking care and allowing the cream so soak in. Place back in the oven for an additional 10 minutes.

Let cool and serve warm or at room temperature with a simple green salad.

Scatter potato onto puff pastry.

Add cooked leeks.

Grate Gruyere over leeks.

Add more potato.

Add more Gruyere over potato.

Top with puff pastry and seal.

Out of the oven.

Serve with a light green salad for lunch, brunch or dinner.

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