When I was doing my cooking demonstration at the Boston Vegetarian Food Festival I brought a couple of vegetables for show and tell. One of them was a celery root. It's amazing how I can stump almost an entire audience with a vegetable. Only a couple of people in an audience of one hundred fifty had seen celeriac (or celery root as it is also known) before. I am sure that even fewer knew how to eat or cook it.
The outer peel of celery root is thick and ugly (except for Cliff Silva's of Ma and Pa's Garden in Sebastopol who scrubs his so that they are missing most of the hard peel) and must be cut off. The root can be grated and eaten raw as in Celery Root Remoulade, or it can be cut up and put into soups or Herb Roasted Root Vegetables, found in The Veggie Queen: Vegetables Get the Royal Treatment. The flavor is mild celery and the texture gets soft when cooked. The tops look like stalk celery but are a bit strong so I use them sparingly when making soup or stock so that the celery flavor doesn't become overpowering.
I urge you to seek out this root and put it to good use this winter. Next issue, I'll discuss winter squash in all its glory.