Every so often, I look back at my cooking journal to see what I was cooking a year ago, and guess what, I made two celery root salads at this time last year. I’m sure this is because there’s a logical sequence to using up the fall harvest, starting with the perishable greens and ending with the sturdy roots. Last year I made a delicious, classic celery root rémoulade and a salad of three celeries (celeriac, Pascal celery stalks and leaves, and seeds). Those, and this year’s versions, are all great winter salads.
This year, we received a gift of delicious fresh walnuts from a California ranch and I had a bottle of walnut oil that I needed to use soon (walnut oil goes rancid quickly, so don’t wait to use it up after it’s open). They seemed like logical pairings with the celeriac. I tried one salad with just walnuts for the dairy-free, another with crumbled blue cheese, and my favorite, a version with a gruyère-like cheese grated to roughly the dimensions of the celeriac matchsticks.
Celeriac Salad with Walnuts and Cheese
1 knob of celeriac
Juice of 1 lemon
½ tsp or less salt
A few fresh walnuts, lightly toasted in a warm pan
Optional: Cheese (crumbled blue cheese or grated gruyère)
Peel the celeriac and slice it into thin matchsticks (1 ¼ inch long x just under 1/8 inch square), dropping the pieces into a bowl containing the lemon juice. Sprinkle with a little salt and set aside to soften for at least 1 hour, or even overnight.
Add the walnut oil and season to taste. Serve with the toasted walnuts and cheese.