They started out as little seedlings I got from Quality Farms, my special local nursery In Gibsons, on the Sunshine Coast of BC. I’d never grown them before, but they looked green, sturdy and healthy, so I popped them into one corner of my raised bed. It was cold in early spring, but they seemed to accept the challenge of being placed in their new frigid home.
I certainly wouldn’t have dreamed of hurting their feelings by giving voice to my thoughts, but, man, they’re ugly! Definitely the ugliest looking edible bulb I’ve seen. This is something you walk by as quickly as possible if you see some in the supermarket!
On the other hand, every time you walk by those plants you catch a big whiff of fresh celery. Absolutely delicious, no question about it.
Later on ...
That’s not likely to happen to mine. I’ve discovered it’s delicious when prepared in a couple of different ways:
- You can mash them, on their own or mixed with an equal amount of potatoes. They take the same amount of time to cook, and add a surprisingly delicate celery taste. This is my favorite.
- Like other root vegetables you can roast cubes of it, bake pieces of it, grate it raw into salads.
- I haven’t tried this yet, but you can use it as a great soup ingredient of course.
Let’s not fool ourselves though - you can’t be too concerned at the amount of peel you have to sacrifice in your efforts to cook celeriac. There’s no way you’re going to be able to use your potato peeler on this warty tuber! No, you need a large, sharp knife, and you’ll just cut away the obviously unappealing outside layers of thick skin.
It’s similar to peeling a pineapple, only a bit easier. One thing to remember though. In spite of its tough exterior, celeriac oxidizes quickly, so it’s a good thing to have a bowl of water with a squirt of lemon in it, cut your celeriac into cubes or slices, whatever you want, and then cook however you decide.
Celeriac is one of those don’t judge the book by its cover things. It has a lot of very valuable nutrients, as you can see from the following table.
So next time you see this homely looking brown, unappetizing looking lump in your supermarket, pause, spend a couple of minutes figuring out if you’d like to be courageous, and give it a try on your menu!
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
176 kJ (42 kcal)
4% 0.05 mg
5% 0.06 mg
5% 0.7 mg
Pantothenic acid (B5)
7% 0.352 mg
13% 0.165 mg
10% 8 mg
39% 41 μg
4% 43 mg
5% 0.7 mg
6% 20 mg
8% 0.158 mg
16% 115 mg
6% 300 mg
7% 100 mg
3% 0.33 mg