Another recipe inspired by this spring’s harvest from my balcony! Celeriac might be a winter/autumn vegetable, but this salad is fresh, crunchy, full of different textures, flavours and perfect for spring! It is inspired by the French céleri rémoulade, but my variation has much less sauce (certainly healthier, but most of all it tastes better!). The difference doesn’t end here, but both salads contain raw grated celeriac, capers, cornichons, a creamy sauce and lots of fresh herbs. For the past years I’ve been using the traditional rémoulade mixture of chives, parsley and tarragon, but since I’ve recently been able to harvest some chervil, I used it instead of tarragon and I think such a herb combination is even more interesting!
Even though I knew chervil in dried form, I tasted it fresh for the first time only recently. Since then I only saw it only potted (this is how I tasted it for the first time) and I still wonder why it’s such a rare fresh herb here (or in France!). Thanks to its delicate taste and texture, it can be used in lots of dishes and it grows quite easily. If you’ve never tasted chervil, it has a slight anis seed flavour, but it’s very subtle (I think even anis seed haters might love it), hence its multiple possibilities of use. The only downside is that it wilts very quickly after being cut, so if you manage to buy a bunch of chervil, don’t leave it in your shopping bag for hours.
If you wonder what else to do with chervil, here’s another fresh spring idea:
TIPS: I prepare this salad with my beloved Japanese mayonnaise (Kewpie brand, my favourite! I even love their low-fait version), but it’ll obviously taste best with fresh homemade mayonnaise.
I haven’t indicated the amount of mayonnaise on purpose. Add as much as you like, starting from several heaped tablespoons.
If you don’t want to grow chervil from seeds, you can buy it potted, but divide it into two or three parts and plant these in different pots. Herbs from gardening shops are usually horribly crowded and if you don’t divide them, they die quite quickly (unless you buy seedlings, of course!). One of the shops I know has a mention “to be replanted” on all the potted herbs, but most sellers don’t inform about it.
If you are a garlic lover, definitely add it, but it’s not necessary.
IMPORTANT: Do not throw away the peeled parts of the celeriac. Wash them and dry or freeze and add to your meat or vegetable stocks!
Preparation: about 15 minutes (or more, depending on the way you grate the vegetables: it’ll take much more with a hand held small grater)
Ingredients (it makes about 1 litre of salad):
1 medium celeriac
1 medium carrot
1 small red onion
two handfuls of chopped fresh herbs: chives, parsley, chervil (equal amounts or as you prefer)
4 heaped tablespoons capers
3 heaped tablespoons chopped cornichons or gherkins
mayonnaise (or a mixture of mayonnaise and thick yogurt)
2-3 tablespoons delicate tasting vinegar (I use rice vinegar) or lemon juice
2 crushed garlic cloves
Peel the celeriac and grate it on a grater with big holes.
Brush the carrot, wash it well and grate it too.
Add the vinegar, the mayonnaise and stir well.
Slice finely the onion and add with the remaining ingredients.
This salad will keep refrigerated, in a closed container, for at least a week (unless you use homemade mayonnaise, of course; in this case eat the salad quickly!).