But it's still Chinese New Year. So I decided I'd try something a little different. After all, this is the year of the Rat, and apparently that means we're supposed to try things that are different. Not really a chore for this Aquarian. Different? Where do I sign up??
Not too long ago, I was reading posts from people who were turning out intriguing dishes using celery root. Rachael over at Fresh Approach Cooking posted this delightful recipe, and there were a few others whose posts inspired me to try this odd looking root. Actually, I had never even noticed celery root before that. Or if I had, I didn't know what I was looking at. And frankly, it's not the kind of thing that would inspire me by it's looks. It looks waaay too.....complicated. Kind of like Jerusalem artichokes. They're not quite as layered and gnarled, but still, they're no fun to peel. So I bought one of these complicated gnarley things, brought it home and tried to figure out what to do with it.
Celery root is a particular kind of celery grown for it's root rather than it's stalk. It turns out to be a good source of dietary fiber, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Magnesium, Potassium and phosphorous. Because it's a vegetable, it contains no cholesterol. It also happens to be good if you want to lose weight, as it has no fat, has a nice water content so it can fill you up with practically no calories - only 42 of them per cup, in fact.
Now, I don't have a clue what happened next. I could have sworn I turned to epicurious and found a recipe that called for celery root and green apple to make a slaw, using apple cider vinegar. I'm sure I found that recipe somewhere, because I went out and bought a granny smith apple and apple cider vinegar. There was a reason for that, and it wasn't just my imagination. But to this day I cannot find that recipe. Instead, I found this other one, which called for Asian pears. How did they know that they were going to be on sale?Ingredients:
2 celery ribs
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
1 teaspoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger
2 firm Asian pears, cut into 1/4-inch-thick matchsticks
2 scallions, thinly sliced diagonally
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh hot red chile, or to taste
Peel strings from celery with a Y-shaped vegetable peeler and cut celery into 1/4-inch-thick matchsticks.
Whisk together juice, vinegar, and ginger and stir in celery and remaining ingredients with salt and pepper to taste. Let stand at room temperature 15 minutes before serving.I hate to toot my own horn, but this was terrific! Just the right bite coupled with the smoothness of the Asian pears. But I still had about half the celery root left over, already cut into matchsticks. And then there was that green apple. And the cider vinegar. And no recipe. So what's a gal to do but wing it?
I combined the celery root with the green apple and some carrots - all cut into matchstick pieces. Mixed some cider vinegar, sugar, a little dijon mustard and some salt, and adjusted them to taste. I wasn't in the mood for a mayonnaise based slaw, so I opted to leave it out. I suspect it would have worked OK with the ingredients if that's more to your taste. A little chopped parsley thrown in for color, and because I didn't want it to go bad in the fridge. Now I'm left with the question: Which one do I prefer? I honestly can't say. Perhaps if you decide to try these, you'll let me know your favorite?This is my entry for Weekend Herb Blogging, being hosted this month by Erin over at The Skinny Gourmet.