It's been a few years now, but I used to work at a little neighborhood market in Nashville. Before then, I had never tried (or even considered) eating beets and never even heard of celery root. The produce guy talked me into trying them out, and ever since then, I've loved eating and incorporating them into different dishes. I feel like I missed out on so much by not trying things! I don't even consider myself a picky eater. I just thought I didn't like certain things for some weird reason. I only found out a couple years ago that I like peanut butter…what was I doing with my life? :/
Since then I have tried to try everything and anything that I might initially think wouldn't be very good. By branching out, I'm able to discover that I like most everything and that there are some amazing flavors out there! Like peanut butter.
One of my favorite dishes that's become a staple around our house is called root cake. It was a dish that I messed with when I first discovered celery root and fell in love with beets. It's a great hearty weekend morning breakfast (or brunch) dish.
1 medium celery root
1 medium beet
2-3 smaller carrots
2-3 smallish red potatoes (or 1 sweet potato)
1 red onion
1 bunch of cilantro
2-3 fresh garlic cloves
about 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
feta for the top (feta's betta)
salt, pepper, cayenne, and cumin to taste
Alright, so this dish is super easy, and (I think) fun to make. I love chopping veggies. At the studio, we have the heaviest cast iron skillet. I think it weighs close to 50 lbs (maybe a little more.) It works, but I'd prefer a lighter weight medium to large nonstick pan. (No offense, Emma!) I started out by getting the skillet heated with a bit of butter (you can also use olive or coconut oil). Then it was chopping time, starting with the denser veggies like the beet, celery root, potatoes, and carrots. They were chopped into smaller than bite size pieces. I probably cut about a cup to a cup and half's worth of each. I threw the veggies in as I cut them. The pan was about medium to high heat at this point. After stirring the veggies in with the butter and letting them fry for a few minutes, I started on the rest of the veggies (cilantro and onion and sunflower seeds). I save the garlic for very last.
Stir fry the veggies on medium to high heat till they are almost cooked through. Then turn the heat way down. I don't want them overcooking while the eggs cook, and with the lower heat, it can take close to 10-15 minutes. When the celery starts warming up, it emits a very unique savory smell. So good!
As soon as the veggies are ready, I flatten them out in the pan. Then pour the (not overly) whipped eggs over top. I don't mix the eggs in with the veggies. I just want them to cook, and everything will come together at the end.
Since the skillet doesn't have a lid, I improvised and stuck a cookie sheet on top while the eggs firmed up. I try to keep everything covered as long as possible without peeking – it helps to have a glass lid. 🙂
When the eggs look about done, I flip the entire thing, which was impossible with the 90 (or more) pound skillet. So I just kept everything covered, and the eggs eventually cooked through. I season everything when it is about 5 minutes from being done. I even throw the minced garlic in at this stage. Garlic that is just warm enough that you can smell it, is one of the best smells in the universe!
When everything is cooked just right, cut it into slices and serve with a bit of fresh cilantro, some feta (or salsa or both), and some sliced tomato. This hearty, nutty, rooty dish will get you and 2-3 people nice and full and ready for the day.
Have any of you guys ever cooked with celery root before? What did you use it for? -Josh
Credits // Author: Joshua Rhodes. Photography: Sarah Rhodes. Photos edited with Piper from the Signature Collection.