Winter Recipes – March 19, 2017: Carrot-Beet Slaw, Sautéed Celeriac with Lemongrass

This month, I decided to follow the December 2016 cooking demo lead and make a root veggie based slaw, this time using carrots and beets with a touch of apple. The cooking demo again featured celeriac, but this time in a sauté versus a slaw. (See the post about the December 2016 Cooking Demo to see how to use celeriac in a slaw; it does make for a mighty tasty crunch.)

Here is the slaw recipe: Scrub but don’t bother peeling two medium sized beets and four smallish to medium carrots, grate with the large hole side of a box grater, and mix the results in a bowl. Next, cut in quarters and core a smallish apple and grate, holding the skin side on the outside,  discarding the skin once all the inner fruit is ready for the slaw. Mix together, and then stir in maybe a tablespoon of rice or other mild vinegar. That’s it! You can, of course, dress it up with a creamy dressing, perhaps some walnuts,  maybe instead or also add a touch of minced onion, or some salt and pepper…hey – poppy seeds would work, I bet. But be sure to try it “naked,” even without the apple, first. You may be surprised at how the veggies speak for themselves.

For some great – grate? :=) – ideas for dressing up this slaw, click HERE. And, be sure to bookmark this wonderful cooking blog by  Clotilde Dusoulier, the cook and writer behind Chocolate & Zucchini.

Given that Farmer Dave’s was back with us this month, I did want to also feature one of my favorite “ugly” veggies that Farmer Dave is wise enough to always grow. Again, see the post about the December 2016 Cooking Demo for info about this so very versatile vegetable.

While a lovely base for or addition to a slaw, celeriac also has just the right texture when cooked.  And, while maybe not news to everyone, I discovered that, contrary to a number of recipes I reviewed online, you do NOT need to parboil celeriac before sautéing slices or small chunks.

Bottom line, slices or small chunks of celeriac sautéed until just soft in olive oil and then seasoned with a nice turn off freshly ground pepper and a touch of salt is really tasty. BUT, sauté it in olive oil that was first infused with fresh – or fresh from the freezer – lemongrass, then you have quite the thing.

Last fall, I froze some stalks of lemongrass that I had purchased from our Flats Mentor Farm farmers by just folding them in half, wrapping them in foil, and storing them in the freezer with the intent of using them in a cooking demo this winter.

Along with using the top half of the stalks for tea by simply cutting them up and simmering them in water, I decided to augment the celeriac sauté as well.

To flavor the oil, I cut the bulb end of the stalk into pieces and sliced into them lengthwise and then just let them simmer at a low temperature in the olive oil for about 15-20 minutes. I then removed the lemongrass, and then sautéed the celeriac in the infused oil. It did indeed give an extra touch of flavor, but I think I will try it with more lemongrass the next time, just for fun.