French cuisine continues to introduce me to ingredients I previously had not known about, and over the course of this year, celery root danced into my life in two delicious instances. I immediately knew I wanted to deepen my knowledge of this root vegetable and share with viewers what I learned because what I tasted was refreshing, satiating and lovely additional everyday flavor to elevate meals, especially during fall and winter, in the kitchen.
In today’s cooking video I will walk you through what celery root is and what exactly celeriac is (hint, they are the same thing!). Shared in two different recipes, one to be enjoy as an appetizer and the other as either an appetizer or an entrée, each can be made in under 20 minutes, and both are going to be in your cooking repertoire from now on.
The entrée dish includes sautéed scallops based on a recipe from a new French cookbook I have been cooking from often this year. Written by Susan Herrmann Loomis, Plat du Jour included the base of a celery root and creme fraiche purée upon which to situate the scallops. I LOVE this recipes, and the fact that I can make it in under 20 minutes makes me love it even more.
Sautéed Sea Scallops with Pureed Celery Root and Creme Fraiche with Herb Drizzle
The second recipe can be made even more swiftly (under 10 minutes) and involves crab. Fresh crab. Introduced to me by a dear friend, I call it Vero’s Apéro Nibble, and it is a simple appetizer that will welcome your guests into your home and cleanse their palette while delighting their tastebuds.
Let’s get to the episode and learn all there is to know about celery root (aka celeriac).
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Links shared during the episode:
- Plat du Jour: French Dinner Made Easy by Susan Herrmann Loomis (January 2021)
- Listen to episode #300, my conversation with Susan about her new cookbook
- white ceramic tasting spoons, 12-piece set
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Sautéed Scallops and Celery Root w/Creme Fraiche Purée and Herb Drizzle
- 6 large sea scallops
- 1 celery root (celeriac) peel and rough chop into large pieces
- 3 Tbsp creme fraiche
- 1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley and basil (or one or the other)
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup water
- fleur de sel to season
- freshly ground black pepper to season
- Prepare the celery root by peel away the outer skin. Chop into large rough pieces.
- Place the celery root into a cold skillet on the stove. Add the 1/2 cup water, season with salt and pepper and cover. Steam over medium to medium-high heat for 15-20 minutes.
- While the celery root is cooking, prepare the herb drizzle. Finely chop the chosen fine herbs and cover with the 1/3 cup olive oil. Set aside.
- Prepare and season the scallops – season one side with salt and pepper.
- Using a skillet over medium heat, wait until the pan is heated up to medium, drizzle with olive oil, then add the scallops. Cook 2-3 minutes on the first side. Season the second side. Flip and cook 1-2 minutes on the second side.
- When the celery root is completely steamed (water is evaporated and a knife can easily pierce the pieces), add while warm to a food processor. Add the crème fraîche, salt and pepper, and pulse until combined to the desired consistency.
- Plate up each serving by putting 1-2 spoonfuls of the purée on each dish, place 1-3 scallops on the purée, and then add the drizzle around the edge of the plate. Enjoy!
Vero’s Apéro Nibble: Grated Celery Root in white wine dressing topped with Fresh Crab
- 1 small celery root (aka celeriac) peeled and grated finely
- 2 Tbsp mayonnaise
- 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 3-4 Tbsp white wine a wine you enjoy drinking
- fleur de sel and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1/4-1/2 lb fresh crab meat
- Make the white wine dressing, using your tastebuds to guide you. In a small bowl begin by combining 2 Tbsp of mayo and Dijon with 3 Tbsp of wine along with salt and pepper. Whisk until combined. Taste. If you can "taste" mayo, stop adding any more and add a smidge more of Dijon and one more Tbsp of white wine. Whisk. Taste. You should taste a desirable combination that sings and not one ingredient is apparent as they are all working together deliciously.
- Set the dressing aside and grate the celery root (don't forget to peel it first). The celery root will begin to oxidize and turn black/brown once it is peeled so do this just as guests arrive.
- Gradually add a couple of Tbsp of the dressing to the grated celery root, toss and combine. Add more to make sure all is dressed, but not too heavily.
- Place a bit in white ceramic tasting spoons (the size is up to you, or a very small plate). On top of the celery root mix, place a small bite of fresh crab meat. Serve with a small spoon. Enjoy.
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