That big, brown, knobby, ugly vegetable known as celery root or celeriac is almost snowy white inside and makes a marvelous salad and accompaniment to smoked or broiled fish, cold cuts, and other vegetables. Because celery root can be tough unless it is very finely shredded, you will need either a food processor with a fine shredding disk or a hand-cranked julienne mill (mouli grater).
Celery root is pretty easy to prepare, but does discolor a bit once sliced open and grated. So make the dressing before slicing and grating the celery root, for best results. To peel celery root, lop off the root and opposite end with a chef’s knife. Then stand the round root on a flat end then take the knife and cut downward, working around the outside, to slice off the tough skin. You can serve this as a salad on a bed of watercress, or as a side dish.
6 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 to 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons finely chopped tarragon
1 tablespoon tarragon
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon ground red pepper
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cups shredded peeled celery root
½ cup finely chopped red onion
8 ounces lump crabmeat, drained and shell pieces removed
2 heads baby Boston lettuce
Combine mayonnaise and next 6 ingredients (through red pepper) in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.
Note: This elegant, low –fat crabmeat appetizer uses a fairly large amount of mustard. If you’re unsure, start with less; you can add more, to taste, when the salad is finished.
Gradually add the olive oil, stirring well with a whisk.
Combine celery root, onion and crabmeat in a medium bowl. Drizzle dressing over crab mixture, tossing well to combine.
Spoon about 1½ tablespoons crab mixture in center of each lettuce leaf and serve.