June 8, 2007

Celeriac Confetti Salad - Gluten Free

I found a wonderfully knobby celeriac at our local Whole Foods. A round cream globe etched in brown, the bulb had all the visual appeal of a mud pie. Convinced that it wasn't edible, my son declared that I couldn't pay him enough money to taste it. I replied, "It smells like celery and you like celery." To which he replied with the utmost disgust, "Yeah Mom, but I don't eat foods that look like trolls." The poor abused celeriac, unwanted by my kids, quietly found it's way into our shopping cart when the kids weren't looking. I had plans for my little celeriac bulb.

Celeriac is kin to the celery that's found in grocery stores or local farmer's markets around the country. Grown for it's large bulb, celeriac is a long lasting vegetable that can be stored three months or longer. It has a mild and earthy celery flavor that can be used roasted, in soups or as the layers in a lasagne and deep fried. Best of all it's one of the many foods that are blessedly gluten free.

My plan was to peel the celeriac while the kids were playing together. I had just started peeling the bulb, when my rapidly growing pre-teen son with a nose for food came leaping into the kitchen. "Whatcha' makin' Mom?" he asks. "A nice cool veggie salad with all your favorites," I answered. "What's that thing in your hand then?" he asks. "It's a variety of celery,"I replied. Developing a suspicious look on his face, he asks, "Isn't that the troll food?" Hearing the words troll food, my daughter dances into the kitchen wondering why we're making food for our fairy garden. "This isn't for the fairy garden guys, it's for us," I explain. I obviously wasn't convincing, because off they ran chanting "troll food," "troll food!" Alone once again in the kitchen, I finished preparing the salad. Chuckling as I listened to their laughing and squealing over Mom fixing troll food.

The chia seed that I added to this recipe for not only for their nutrition, but for their gelling properties. The chia gel held the balsamic dressing on the vegetables and not sitting in the bottom of the bowl.


half of a large celeriac bulb
1/2 cup diced carrot
1/4 cup diced radish
1/2 cup chopped snap peas
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 to 1/2 tsp dill weed, to taste
1/2 tsp celery seed
1 tsp sesame seed
1 tsp chia seed
1 Tb balsamic vinegar
2 Tb grapeseed oil

In a medium sized bowl, plop in all the ingredients and stir. Served chilled.

How did it go over with my kids? Never tried it, they simply couldn't get over the look of the celeriac. How did it go over with my husband and myself? Well...it's pretty tasty. We ate it all that night for dinner. The chia gel did a great job of holding the dressing on all the vegetables. Each bite was covered with spices and dressing which was very nice. We agreed, this recipe is a keeper.

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