Celeriac remoulade, a lovely salad made from raw, shredded celeriac dressed with a sauce designed specially for it. Who says root vegetables are boring?
What is remoulade?
Remoulade is a salad sauce made with mayonnaise, with various additions. Those can be finely diced shallots, chopped gherkins or capers, wholegrain mustard, as well as herbs: chives, tarragon or dill.
So far, so tartar sauce and it’s true that remoulade is its French relation. But it also can be sometimes spiced with Cajun or curry seasoning, especially in Scandinavia, Germany and the Southern States where it is very popular.
No remoulade without celeriac
But as they say in France, ‘Quand on parle de rémoulade, on pense tout de suite au céleri’, no remoulade without celeriac. It is the inseparable couple, like eggs and hollandaise, steak and peppercorn sauce or pasta and pesto.
And as it is a condiment or sauce created for a specific dish, remoulade can also describe the salad of grated celeriac dressed with the mayo-mustard-herb concoction.
Which, as I say, was created by the French expressly to dress the celery root long before the Germans served it with fish and the Danish squirted it on hot dogs.
Together, the burly celeriac and the voluptuous sauce make up a delicious winter salad. I mean, how long can you cook frozen peas to serve with everything?
Especially that celeriac remoulade goes very well with fish. After all it’s served at every seafood buffet in the French alpine resort hotels. But it goes equally well with meat, and in fact can very well replace coleslaw. Just for the variety.
How to prepare celeriac
Peeling the brute is a mission, all the dainty vegetable peelers completely redundant. I usually slice off the top and bottom, and then chop off the sides in strips with a big knife, a bit like you’d approach a pineapple.
And then what: shred it? grate it? or laboriously cut it into matchsticks? The last method, albeit abhorrent, would bring the best results because celeriac in the salad should be chunky, so grating, even coarse, would pulp it too much.
‘Julienning’ is the correct term and you’ll be saved from hours of honing knife skills if you have a double-sided vegetable peeler. That other, serrated blade is exactly for the purpose of julienning vegetables.
Or else, you might have a food processor with an appropriate attachment.
My way with celeriac remoulade
My version of celeriac remoulade has a little twist: I add a carrot for the colour, an apple for the sweetness and a few raisins. As if you needed a justification for adding raisins to anything!
My remoulade dressing is on the lighter side, with mayonnaise severely diluted with crème fraiche (I bet this is the first time you’ve ever heard of diluting anything with cream!). I also divest it off all the caper-gherkin trappings leaving only wholegrain mustard and chives.
If you’re shredding the vegetables ahead of time, toss them with a little lemon juice to stop them, celeriac especially, from turning brown. And when ready to go, dress it lavishly with remoulade-the-sauce.
Tip for raisins
Raisins in salads are a magic touch. You can add them to coleslaw, beetroot salad and above all to fennel salad.
If you want to make them work their magic even better, try soaking them for a few minutes in hot water before draining and adding to the salad. They will plump up, become juicier and even more delicious.
Of course the same treatment can be applied to raisins or sultanas destined for baking!
More celeriac recipes
Recipes featuring cooked celeriac are usually for mash or puree but dicing the celeriac root and cooking it in butter to make fondant celeriac brings out its great flavour.
Salt baked celeriac is sweet and earthy and a Michelin grade impressive centrepiece dish. Salt crust dough made from flavoured salt and flour; you crack it open like an enormous soft-boiled egg.
A vegetarian steak which is not made with soy meat substitute! Roasted slices of celeriac beat those meatless meat alternatives by a mile.
More winter salad recipes
Zingy carrot salad with raw grated carrots, chilli, ginger and soured cream: it’s a carrot salad exploding with flavour.
Vibrant winter rainbow salad with red and green cabbage, red and white onions, herbs and vinaigrette dressing – that’s a crisp fresh salad with crunchy vegetables in lively colours.
Beetroot salad made with mixed raw and cooked beetroot in tangy dressing. As all things dark red or purple, beetroot is incredibly rich in nutrients especially when eaten raw.