When I was a kid, back when I lived in France, the only time when I would have Celery Root Remoulade (pronounce “ray-moo-lad”) would be at the school “cantine” (that’s french for Cafeteria). My mom never made that dish, and I was always looking forward to have some when the school would serve it.
Growing up, Celery Root was the sort of thing I thought was growing in cans, or at best, in glass jars, and most convenient of all, I figured that this was something that was growing like grass, in little stick like things. Little did I know that in fact celery root remoulade is made from an actual root, and can be described as anything but pretty looking (see picture on the left side). It can be quite unsightly, and even intimidating for some. But in fact, it is fairly easy to clean and prepare, and best of all, is very very tasty!
To prepare the root, just wash it thouroughly under cold running water to remove any dirt and bugs. Then select the biggest and heaviest knife you have. You’ll want to use the weight of the knife to help you cut through it. First remove the whole outside skin to reveal the white root (somewhat yellowish for some). You’ll also want to remove as much of the darker bits as you can without wasting too much, not that they are necesarily bad, but just won’t look as nice in the finished dish. Then cut the root in large chunks to prepare for the shredding.Â To shred it, I use a mandoline as I think that’s what works best, but if you don’t have one, or are too afraid to cut yourself, you can use a food processor. The goal here is to shred the celery root into small sticks of about 2 inches long, and maybe 1/8 square.
Once everything is shredded, the rest is quite simple.
Servers 4-6 as an appetizer.
- One celery root, shredded (see above). Comes out to 10-12 ounces
- 1/2 cup of mayonnaise
- 1/4 dijon mustard
- 1/8 to 1/4 cup red wine vinegar depending on your taste
- salt, pepper to taste
- a small cornichon, or some parley for garnishing
Total preparation time (including the shredding): about 30 minutes.Â Maybe a bit more the first time around.
Put the shredded celery root into a large bowl (the large bowl makes it easier to mix everything without making too much of a mess). Add all the ingredients, and then mix till you have a smooth, almost milky looking sauce that coats the celery root evenly. And that’s it!
I like to let it rest and marinate a bit in the fridge for at least 2 hours, but if you can’t wait, that will be quite tasty already, so go ahead!