Celery Root Remoulade – Winter’s Favorite Salad

This recipe is reposted from my older days – hence the unorthodox structure of the post. It’s one of my favorite recipes, especially for a winter salad, and I hope that you enjoy it as much as I do!

See you Tuesday, after the long weekend!

I love complex flavors.
 That’s why I am so drawn to southeast Asian foods-the sour salads of Thailand, the fragrant curries of India, the spicy soups of Vietnam…these are the layered, multi faceted flavors that I crave.  When other little kids were asking for meatloaf for their birthdays, I wanted Kimchi Jigae.  Go figure!
But…every now and then…I crave clean, uncomplicated food.
Just for a change in pace…or, more often, a little rest for my spice laden taste buds.
That’s when I whip up some Celery Remoulade.
Celery Remoulade is celery root in a tangy, mayonnaise based sauce.  Celery root is easily found in gourmet grocery stores, and often in regular grocery stores this time of year.  It is literally the root of the celery stalk, and has a sweet/savory flavor with celery and apple notes.  The texture is like a radish-crunchy but yielding, and porous enough that it absorbs the dressing quickly.
1. Cut your celery root in half, then cut away the peel with a sharp knife.  Then you cut the cleaned root into thin discs.
2. Pile the discs on top of on another and cut the discs into matchsticks.  You can also do this by cutting the cleaned celery root into small pieces and tossing it in the food processor.
3. Combine equal parts mayonnaise and Dijon mustard, and a bit of vinegar.  Also throw in a hearty dose of salt, black pepper, and maybe some diced scallions or shallots if you like strong flavors (as I do).
4.  Now whisk all that up and taste it.  Is it too tart?  Add some more mayo.  Too bland?  Some more pepper or mustard…you get the point.  Then toss it on your diced veggies!
 5. Refrigerate it for at least one hour or – even better – up to 6 hours. 
6. Serve.
Man oh MAN is this amazing!  It is like cole slaw’s richer, more filling cousin.  Creamy, tangy, tart, spicy from the pepper, with the toothsome bite of the celery root.  The clean celery flavor juxtaposes that rich, fatty mayonnaise so perfectly.  Perfect alongside a burger, a turkey sandwich, or even just a piece of bread and a hunk of cheese, this is my favorite simply flavored dish on the planet.  Although…looking back on how I have described the flavors of this awesome French side dish…I guess it’s not so simple after all.  Yeah, I take back what I said earlier.  I just like complex flavors.  What can ya do?