Thursday, January 19, 2006

Celery rémoulade

Le celeri rémoulade is a popular celery root salad with a mayonnaise-based dressing. You can serve it with other little appetizers such as carottes râpées (freshly shredded carrots with a lemon juice and olive oil dressing), sliced tomatoes, cubed beets (boiled about 30 minutes in a pressure cooker), macedoine, etc... Artfully arranged in concentric circles in one big plate these colorful salads will look like a beautiful and edible flower. :-)

Celery rémoulade can be found at any deli in France but since it isn't the case in Sunnyvale, as probably in many other places around the globe, why not make some ourselves? It's very easy.

What you need:
- 1 celery root
- rémoulade dressing:
. 1 hard-boiled egg (10 minutes)
. 1 raw egg
. 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard (e.g. Maille or Amora)
. 1 teaspoon vinegar (e.g. apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar)
. canola oil (1 or 2 cups or as much as you want)
. salt and pepper
. optionally, 1 teaspoon tarragon

1. Prepare the celery root.
- If you have a good mixer with a shredder attachment, peel the celery root and shred it then boil it ("blanch it") for no more than 3 minutes in salted water. It should remain slightly crunchy.
- I don't have a good mixer with a shredder attachment so I use my mandoline on the julienne position. Since the celery root is very hard, I peel it and boil it first for 4 minutes in salted water to soften it up a little. Then I julienne the celery root with the mandoline and blanch it for only 1 minute.
Whatever method you choose, make sure to keep the water. It is an excellent, flavorful and healthy broth that you can use in your next veggie soup. You can freeze it very easily.

2. Prepare the rémoulade dressing. It is basically a very mustardy mayonnaise to which we add a thinly chopped hard boiled egg. Additional seasoning (such as tarragon) can be used. Some recipes also add parsley and even finely chopped cornichons (small French pickled gherkins) and capers. This is purely optional as long as the mustard is strong enough. Note that rémoulade is a smooth dressing: the herbs should blend in rather than make chunks.
- Place the mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper in a bowl or jar. Stir a little. Add the egg yolk and start mixing more vigorously with a hand whish. If you are using an electric blender (as I do) you can use the whole egg. The mayonnaise will be lighter in color and texture. Pour the oil in a thin stream while mixing/whisking continuously. Make sure to get the emulsion going (i.e. get a thick and homogeneous sauce) before adding more oil. You can add as much oil as you need mayonnaise. For this dish, 1 to 2 cups should be enough. Add some seasoning if you want (tarragon -dried of fresh, fresh parsley, cornichons, capers...).

3. Chop the hard boil egg very thinly and incorporate it to the sauce.

4. Drain the celery root and place it in a salad bowl. Pour the rémoulade dressing on top and toss until the dressing is evenly spread. The flavors will be better absorbed if the celery is still warm when you mix in the dressing.

5. Let cool down before eating. The celery rémoulade gets even better if you leave it in the fridge overnight. This will give it time to marinate a little.


Papilles et Pupilles said...

Tu peux essayer aussi d'y rajouter quelques dés de poire, des noix et du roquefort (pour le roquefort ça ne vai peut être pas être facile) mais c'est excellent.

Elvira said...

C'est tout simple, mais qu'est-ce que c'est bon!

Estelle said...

Si si ! C'est assez facile de trouver du roquefort. Je vais donc pouvoir essayer cette excellente idée :-)

Peggy said...

We had a celeriac salad served to us on a lovely barge cruise on the Marne. I appreciate your recipe very much. To serve your salad to a group of 12, how many celery roots should I use? This is a new vegetable for me!

Estelle said...

Hi Peggy,
Thanks for your comment. My guess is that 3 medium-size celery roots should be ok for a group of 12 (2 might be enough but leftovers are not a problem since you can keep celery rémoulade a few days in the fridge). The best celery roots are found in the winter though... I don't know if you'll be able to find any at this time of the year.

Rcahel said...

Thank you so much for this - we got back from France on aturday and already I'm missing my celerei remoulade - can't wait to make it myself!

satan165 said...

my mom challenged me to find a use for a giant celeriac she got me from the farmers market. i did some research and decided on this.

luckily i initially set aside a small amount for her when it was done, because as i began to 'sample' it afterwards i ended up eating the entire bowl. great recipe...and i took the advice of the french poster (1st comment), which i translated! great advice!