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The Produce Corner is a collaborative column by farmer and Dill Pickle owner Rob Montalbano and Dill Pickle's Produce Lead Buyer, Kristen Martinek. Here Rob shares info on some of his favorite in-season veggies including history, cooking ideas and storage tips. Rob lives and works with his wife Christina on their farm in Sandwich, IL. Kristen provides additional information including nutritional value and recipes. In addition to working as Produce Lead at the Dill Pickle, Kristen shares her passion for nutrition and natural living on her website “Enjoy This Organic Life”.
This is a weird one. Celeriac. Even the name is kinda funny, reminding me of a Dan Ankroyd skit on Saturday Night Live. But don’t let the name, or the knobby, nutty shell fool you. A cool season crop in the carrot family, the white-fleshed Celeriac is delicious and hardy. What we eat is actually a bulb-like stem of the plant, although most other parts of the plant are edible too.
In the kitchen, celeriac is versatile. Use it raw, boiled or roasted. The only work that you absolutely have to do is to remove the peel (but even that can be added to soup stock!). Shred it raw on salads for a nutty, celery-like kick. Chop and boil 1-2” pieces alongside your favorite potatoes and then smash everything together to make the finest mashed potatoes your family ever had. To roast celeriac, peel and chop into bite-sized pieces. Bake with a little oil at 425°F for about 20 minutes. Then add some chopped carrots (or turnips or beets or potatoes), more olive oil, and an herb like rosemary or thyme. Bake for another 20-30 minutes, or until tender.
Choose a firm plant that looks in good shape. Celeriac stores very well in a cool, damp place like the crisper section of your refrigerator. It will last for several weeks. Low in fat, without any cholesterol, and lots of fiber make celeriac something you should try today. -Rob
I agree with Rob in that celeriac is a weird one - but I always equate weird with good - so fear not! As Rob mentioned, celeriac contains a lot of fiber which helps keep your digestive tract healthy and moving right along. Celeriac is also a great source of vitamins B6,C and K, as well as phosphorus and potassium. As the most prominent vitamin in celeriac, vitamin K plays an important role in keeping your blood and bones healthy, so eat up! And with celeriac's availablilty throughout the fall and winter, it's vitamin C can't hurt keeping your immune system kickin' and warding off winter illness.
Also referred to as celery root (although it is not the root of the celery stalk), celeriac is a great alternative for oven-baked fries! And who doesn't like fries!? Linked here (and pictured above) is a delicious recipe for celeriac fries with fresh herbs and a touch of peppery heat. Serve alongside your favorite ketchup, mustard, or curried tahini dip. Get ready to be wowed!
The Co-op currently has organic and local celeriac in stock from Genesis Growers and will continue until their storage runs out! Get 'em while they last! -Kristen