Saturday, April 20, 2013

Celery Root and Apple Salad with Blue Cheese and Walnuts

After experimenting with cooked celery root in our beef pot pie, I've started noticing it in a variety of uncooked dishes, such as this salad.  While some similar root vegetables can't be eaten raw (or wouldn't taste good if they were) celery root was pleasantly tasty as a raw ingredient in this salad.   Not to mention, it has many health benefits- low calories, high potassium, rich in vitamins, and many more.  It has a earthy, almost nutty taste which paired well with the sweet acidity from the apples. The texture reminds me of a carrot- crunchy but not starchy.  The blue cheese and walnuts added some additional flavor and texture to the dish, and the tangy vinaigrette was the perfect thing to tie it all together.  This is a light and refreshing salad, that is surprisingly filling at the same time.  Thanks to Food & Wine for the recipe!
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon dijon
1/4 of a red onion, minced (or one shallot)
salt and pepper
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup crumbled blue cheese
3 large granny smith apples, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch cubes
1 large celery root (or two small- should be about the same amount as the apples) peeled and diced into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped or halved (I bought mine pre-roasted, but you can do that step yourself if yours are raw.  It definitely makes a difference!)

*As a note, this recipe makes A LOT.  But the leftovers save well and the salad tastes even better after a day or two.  However, you can cut the recipe in half to make a smaller amount.

Peeled celery root
Make the dressing by combining the vinegar, mustard, onion or shallot, about 1/2 teaspoon salt and some freshly cracked black pepper. Let it stand for 10 minutes, and then whisk in the olive oil and 1/4 cup blue cheese.  

Combine the chopped celery root and apple in a large bowl.  Pour the dressing over top, and add the remaining blue cheese and walnuts.  Mix thoroughly and refrigerate until ready to serve!