Celeriac, in Greek σελινόριζα = pr. seh-lee-NOH-ree-zah, also known as celery root, is a root vegetable which looks strange and peculiar, somewhat ugly and repulsive but it is tasty, with a lot of health benefits.
In Greece, it is know and used since antiquity as it is mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey, as “selinon”.
Do not confuse celeriac with the celery leaves we buy in the supermarket. They are both of the same family (Apium raveolens, variety rapaceum) but celeriac is cultivated for its root, whereas celery (in the family Apiaceae), is cultivated for its long, fibrous stalks.
The most popular Greek dish is Chirino me Selinoriza (Pork with Celeriac).
Health benefits of celeriac
Celeriac contains plenty of minerals including calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium. It contains several of the B vitamins as well as vitamin C and vitamin K.
Vitamin K is good to improve bone strength, which can protect us from osteroporosis as well as improve brain function, by limiting neuronal damage in the brain, especially against Alzheimer’s disease.
Celeriac is low in calories (42 calories in 100 grams peeled celeriac) and therefore, good for anyone on a low-carb diet, especially those on a Gallbladder Diet.
Like most of the members of Apiaceae family vegetables, celeriac is also rich in antioxidants.
One of the main reasons that many avoid celeriac is that they do not know how to use it or how to clean it.
Fortunately, in recent years, we have discovered more and more ways to use it and incorporate it in our diet.
Harvesting and storage of celeriac
One of the joys of having celeriac in the fridge is that it lasts for several weeks.
This means you can always count on there being a vegetable that’s edible in the fridge if you’ve not made it to the supermarket for a while.
Celeriac matures during fall, although it can last all winter, or even more, if stored properly.
Trim side roots and leaves and store in the refrigerator around 0 – 5 degrees C / 32 – 41 F. However, it does not stand up to freezing.
Its size ranges between 200 – 500 grams each and a regular root is about the size of a grapefruit.
How to use celeriac
Celeriac may be eaten raw in salads, roasted, stewed, or blanched, and may be mashed.
It can be eaten raw in salads, cooked and pureed to accompany meat (especially pork) and fish, stewed like many other root vegetables, in casseroles, in soups and generally in other recipes where celery is added.
How does celeriac taste
It resembles like celery but without the intense celery taste, with a more mild and sweet taste and smell.
How to clean celeriac
Cleaning celeriac is very easy. First of all start by washing the root. Do not try to clean it as the potato, because that’s not the way.
You will need a cutting board and a sharp knife, as a lot of skin will be removed and possibly a peeler.
Put it on the cutting board and cut the base so that it can sit flat on the board and cut the top.
Work your knife down the sides to remove the knobs and roots until its pale, creamy flesh is revealed.
If there are some rough spots you may also need a sturdy peeler – corer.
When done, put it in water with lemon juice in order to prevent it from oxidizing.
HOW TO CLEAN CELERIAC
- Cleaning celeriac is very easy. First of all start by washing the root.
- Do not try to clean it as the potato, because that’s not the way.
- Put it on the cutting board and cut the top and base so that it can sit flat on the board.
- Work your knife down the sides to remove the knobs and roots until its pale, creamy flesh is revealed.
- If there are some rough spots you may also need a sturdy peeler – corer.
- When done, put it in water with lemon juice in order to prevent it from oxidizing.
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Kopiaste and Kali Orexi!