Gay Cook’s Beet, Celeriac (Celery Root) and Carrot Salad

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Makes 5 – 6 servings

The autumn and winter bring us great tasting root vegetables. They can be roasted, barbecued, boiled and for salads, they can be served raw except beets. Beets are most flavourful when roasted because when raw they bleed a bright red juice due to a high amount of juice in raw beets and the juice will run into other added ingredients
Celeriac or celery root has been cultivated specifically for its enlarged root. It’s rather ugly looking with a knobby and gnarly skin that hides the ivory-white interior and the celery taste. Once it is peeled it is best to work quickly if grating, dicing or slicing as celeriac tends to discolour unless lemon juice or vinegar is added. To get the best flavours, have the vegetables at room temperature.

½ pound (250 g) or 2 – 3 uncooked beets
1 tablespoon (15 mL) balsamic or red wine vinegar or to taste
1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil
½ small sweet onion, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper to taste

2 – 3 medium-sized carrots, scrubbed, stem end trimmed
Juice of ½ orange
2 tablespoons (25 mL) olive oil
1 teaspoon (5 mL) maple syrup or brown sugar
1 teaspoon (5 mL) salt or to taste
1 tablespoon (15) finely chopped fresh dill, mint or chives

1/2 medium-sized celeriac (celery root)
1 tablespoon (15 mL) Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon (15 ml) white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon (15 mL) olive or vegetable oil
2 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage or parsley
Salt and pepper and pinch sugar

1 head of butter or leaf lettuce, washed and chilled
Several parsley leaves or watercress stems for garnish

  1. To roast beets, enclose in foil and baked in medium oven for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until tender when pierced with tip of sharp knife. Or, boil beets by placing in cold water on medium heat, to cook for 40 – 60 minutes or until beets are tender when pierced with a sharp knife. Cool beets; trim stem end and rub off skin. Grate beets on medium-size grater and place in bowl. Stir in vinegar, oil and onion. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Grate carrots on medium-size grater and place in bowl. Season with orange juice, olive oil, syrup or sugar, salt, dill or mint or chives.
  3. Peel celery root and cut away roots and any brown parts. Grate on medium size grater and place in a bowl. Stir in mustard, vinegar, oil, sage or parsley and season to taste.
  4. Wash lettuce and place in lettuce spinner to remove any water. Separate 5 leaves from the lettuce head. Remove tough end of leaves.
  5. To serve, on serving plate or 5 individual plates, place lettuce leaves on centre part of serving plate or 3 small leaves on each individual plate. Vegetables are best served at room temperature. Spoon the beet, celery root and carrot salads in individual piles in single lettuce cup, next to each other. Do the same for each individual plate but only small mounds. Garnish each plate with small bunch of parsley stems or watercress stems.

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