Celeriac

The ugly duckling of root vegetables.

Your mother told you never to judge a book by its cover, right? The next time you encounter celeriac is the next time to exercise that advice.

Celeriac is a knobby, globular root. Also known as celery root, it is just that — the root of a variety of celery plant grown for its tasty root rather than for the stalks. Celeriac is mostly relegated to the savory: stews, creamy soups, casseroles and mashed as you would potatoes. It tastes very much like an earthy celery, and works well in most recipes where you’d normally use a potato (better yet: use them together!).

Don’t let celeriac’s knobbiness faze you. Remove the funky exterior with a strong peeler or a sharp paring knife to reveal its creamy off-white flesh. From there, culinary options abound. You’ll feel all the better about your celeriac-filled meal, as if you’ve fought off an vegetative ogre to earn it.

Storage

Unwashed celeriac stores well for several months if you remove the stems. Keep it in a dark, cold (32-40 degrees) place, like a root cellar or vegetable drawer in the refrigerator.