Part of the celery family, the celery root or celeriac, is routinely used in French cooking and is seen throughout Europe. It is solely grown for its root use and appeared in the United States beginning in the 19th century.
This root is bypassed by many because of it unusual appearance of crevices and rootlets. When cooked well, this root evokes celery and parsley flavors.
Availability, Selection, Storage and Preparation
Celery roots are available year-round with a peak during November through April. Select roots that are the least knobby or ones that have the smoothest skin (for easier peeling). Medium roots tend to be smoother and harder and these roots can be sold with or with out the celery tops. If you do buy the roots with the tops, trim the stalks and save them for soups and stews. The roots should be wrapped in plastic, stored in the refrigerator, and used within a week. Celery roots must be scrubbed, trimmed at the top and bottom, quartered, and then peeled before eating. Be sure to discard any spongy parts. Avoid overcooking celery root as it will go quickly from firm to mushy.