This recipe was so simple, I almost feel like I’m cheating on this update. I have an excuse though: my puppy was “fixed” this week, so I’ve been a bit too preoccupied to jump into a complicated dish.
My wife is terribly allergic to celery, so I don’t cook with it very often. Celery root actually contains more allergen than the stalk, so using it has been pretty much right out. I’m happy to finally be able to work with it though after seeing the chefs on various TV shows use it to great effect. I was thrown at first when I looked at the recipe. I had never heard of “celeriac” before. Thankfully a quick Google search informed me that over in France and the UK, celeriac is what they call celery root.
I tried to use a peeler to remove the tough outer skin, but the root was so oddly shaped I ended up just cutting most of the skin off with a knife.
Once peeled, I needed to grate the entire root finely. While I was grating, the pungent smell of celery slowly gave way to a very sweet, almost coconut-like scent. The coconut flavor also came through slightly in the final product.
Fifteen minutes later I had a tired hand and a bowl full of grated celery root. I measured out the needed amount of coarse sea salt and combined the two …
… like so. I then left the bag to sit in the fridge for two days so that the celery root and salt could “get to know each other.”
48 hours later I spread the mixture on a half sheet pan and placed it in an oven set on low to dry it out.
Many hours later I had big crusty chunks of salty celery root.
After a quick whiz in a food processor I had powdery celery salt.
I soft boiled a couple of free range eggs to finish the recipe.
Despite the simplicity of everything done in this update, there is something wonderful about making your own celery salt. Kept in an airtight container it’ll last for quite a while, and using the recipe in the book left me with a little under two cups of salt. I’ll probably still have some two years down the road, that is if I don’t stop using it every morning on soft boiled eggs. The combination of the two is just so tasty that I’ve boiled about eight eggs so far. The celery salt has not only the grassy and pungent tones usually associated with celery, but there are subtle sweet and nutty flavors in the mix as well as the obvious salty one.
One down, one hundred and twenty seven to go.