The Celeriac-How-To-Guide

Pic by Rachel Jones

Because of its gnarly and misshapen appearance, celeriac is often referred to as the “ugly duckling” and the “hobbit” of the vegetable world and ranks #1 of the unsexy veggies.

However, it’s been around for millennia. It made its first appearance in Homer’s “Odyssey”, who most def ate it because it is loaded with vitamins and minerals that can help you maintain good health. So don’t be afraid of celeriac!

If you’re a fan of mashed potatoes, you can use celeriac to upgrade your usual recipe. It’s also great as chips, in salads or soups when cooked and it has Danish organic season from December to April.

How to store it?

Since celery root is a root vegetable, it stores well and for a long time if it is kept cool. Having spent most of its life underground, it also enjoys the dark. Kept loosely wrapped in plastic in the fridge it will last up to several weeks — even longer if it was freshly harvested.

Don’t peel celery root to store it — the peeled vegetables will oxidise and turn brown. Don’t wash it either. If it has dirt clinging to the peel (it often does) brush off what you can, then store the root loosely wrapped in plastic to keep the dirt contained. As with all root vegetables, bits of dirt clinging to it will actually help the celery root stay fresh longer.

How to prep it?

It’s not easy due to its uneven and bumpy surface. To clean celeriac, run it under cold water while using a soft brush to get rid of any dirt that may have been left on the peel. Afterward, follow these steps to peel the root without cutting off too much of its flesh:

  1. Place the celeriac on a clean work surface. Remove the base and the top of the vegetable.
  2. Carefully cut down the sides, close to the skin. Be sure you’re not wasting too much flesh left on the skin.
  3. When the skin is completely removed, chop or slice the flesh, depending on your preference. To avoid discoloration, soak the vegetable pieces in cold water and a few lemon slices.

How to make celery root mash?

If you’re a fan of mashed potatoes, you can use celeriac to upgrade your usual recipe. Here is a recipe from that you can follow:

You’ll need 1 celeriac, cut into small cubes, a glass of milk, a few peeled and diced potatoes and a few chunks of unsalted butter.

To make it

  1. Cook celery root in a large pot of boiling salted water for five minutes.
  2. Add potatoes to the pot. Cook for about 20 minutes or until all vegetables are tender. Drain.
  3. Return vegetables to pot. Stir over medium-high heat until dry. This usually takes one to two minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and add butter.
  5. Using a potato masher, mash vegetables until butter is incorporated.
  6. Add milk. Mash until almost smooth, adding more milk as needed.