Celery Root and Celery Leaf Salad

A creamy preserved lemon dressing adds an intriguing salty-sour flavor to this celery root salad recipe, showing there's more to celery than just the stalk.
Photo by Jim Henkens

Adapted from A Boat, A Whale & A Walrus, by Renee Erickson with Jess Thomson (Sasquatch Books, 2014)

“Once you get past its intimidating appearance, celery root is lovely, with a delicious, green vegetal flavor that’s hard to come by in the dead of winter,” says Erickson, a Seattle-based chef and James Beard Award winner. This salad takes advantage of the funky, salty-sour flavor of preserved lemon to give the creamy dressing its complexity. Note: If your celery stalks don’t yield enough leaves, you can use flat-leaf parsley.

Give Celery a Chance
Ingredients
  • Preserved lemon vinaigrette (recipe below)
  • 1 pound celery root
  • ½ cup toasted walnuts, divided
  • ½ cup celery leaves (picked from regular celery stalks)
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • 5 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for finishing
  • Flaky sea salt (like Maldon or Jacobsen), for finishing
Directions

Prepare vinaigrette. Transfer to large bowl. Using sharp knife, peel celery root. Shave as thinly as possible, using a knife or mandolin. Add root shavings to vinaigrette as you slice to prevent browning. Make sure each piece has dressing and spread slice apart evenly in the bowl if clumping occurs. When celery root has been thoroughly dressed, stir in ⅜ cup walnuts. Crush walnuts slightly with hands while adding to bowl.

Transfer mixture to platter. Top with the remaining walnuts, celery leaves, poppy seed, and pomegranate seeds. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with sea salt. Serve at room temperature. Serves 4.

Preserved Lemon Vinaigrette
  • Peel of 1 preserved lemon, julienned*
  • ½ cup crème fraîche
  • 1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon minced shallot
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Directions

In blender or food processor, purée peel, crème fraîche, juice and shallot. While food processor is running, add olive oil in slow, steady stream until smooth and creamy. Salt to taste.

*Preserved lemon is widely available in specialty stores and Middle Eastern groceries

Pair It

Stemmari 2015 Grillo (Sicilia); 89 points, $10, Best Buy

This racy white wine offers lemon zest, sage, saline and nutty notes that echo the preserved lemon, celery leaf and walnut in the salad. Vibrant acidity brings out the sweeter side of the celery root and pomegranate seeds.

Published on February 9, 2017
About the Author
Nils Bernstein
Contributing Editor, Food

A fan of sweet wines, sour beers, and old-school Rioja, Bernstein is an exhaustive traveler in search of new and unsung chefs and restaurants, innovative wine and food pairings, and eating and drinking at the source. In addition to Wine Enthusiast, Bernstein has written for Bon Appetit, Men’s Journal, New York Times, Men’s Fitness, Hemispheres, and Kinfolk, among others.

Email: nbernstein@wineenthusiast.net



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