In Creole cuisine, rémoulade is the pride of the po’ boy: a veritable catch-all sauce of ketchup, mayo, mustard, Louisiana mirepoix and spices. In France, the sauce is more refined and its classic accompaniment is celery root. The basic formula for a rémoulade in both the motherland and southland milieu is: mayo, something pickled, herbs and spices. Our recipe is a vegan take on the French version, and we used it as a platform for a classic bistro salad of celeriac. Not familiar with this brute of a root? Don't be surprised when you go from grocer to grocer praying you can avoid a run to Whole Foods for these glorious dirt bombs. You will fall in love with this dish.
A friend of ours used to eat a similar treat as a child in the Loire Valley. When her père whipped up a batch, he’d let it sit for a day before serving. If you’ve got the time and savoir faire you should do the same and skip the blanching of the root for a more authentic version.
Vegan Celery Root Rémoulade
1 large celeriac (about 2 pounds)
3/4 cup vegan mayonnaise
2 minced shallots
1 tablespoon diced tarragon
1 tablespoon diced parsley
2 tablespoons chopped capers
1 tablespoon lemon juice, deseeded
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard or prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon diced chives
1) Set a large pot of water to boil. With a paring knife skin the root completely. 2) Depending on the equipment you’ve got you have two shredding options: kitchen mandolin or cheese grater. If you have a mandolin, slice the root lengthwise into thin sheets, and then slice into thin matchsticks. No mando? Just shred the root on the largest eyelet set of a cheese grater. 3) Now blanch the shredded or sliced celeriac very quickly: Throw it in the water, count to 10 whilst stirring and then remove. Rinse under cold water until cool and dry with towels.4) Combine the remaining ingredients, except for the black pepper and chives, in a mixing bowl and whisk together. Toss the celeriac with the rémoulade sauce and garnish with ground pepper and chives. Serve on top of lightly cooked asparagus or your favorite veggie burger.
Beverage: Forêt-Saison Organic Ale
Soundtrack: Stereolab's Dots and Loops