Celery Root & Potato Casserole

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Celery Root & Potato Casserole
Serves 4
Celery Root, also known as Celeriac, Turnip-Rooted Celery or Knob Celery is a specific type of celery, grown as a root vegetable for its large and well-developed taproot rather than for its stem and leaves. Celeriac may be used raw or cooked. It has the celery/parsley like flavor, so it is often used as a flavoring in soups and stews; it can also be mashed or used in casseroles and baked dishes. The hollow stalk of the upper plant can be cut into drinking straw lengths, rinsed out, and used for tomato drinks such as the Bloody Mary. The tomato juice moving through the stalk is lightly permeated with the celery flavor. The recipe below pairs Celery Root with two of its most common recipe partners, potatoes and tomatoes. Enjoy!
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  1. 4 Baking Potatoes, peeled
  2. 1 Celery Root, peeled & sliced thin
  3. 2 Tbsp. Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed
  4. 4 Tomatoes, cored, seeded & chopped
  5. 2 Tbsp. Peanut or Canola Oil
  6. 1 Garlic Clove, peeled & minced
  7. 1 cup Sweet Onions, sliced fine
  8. 3/4 cup Heavy Cream
  9. 2 cups Gruyere Cheese, grated
  10. Salt & Pepper, to taste
  1. Cook potatoes in salted water to cover, about 15 minutes. They should still be firm in the center.
  2. Drain, and then when cool, cut them into thin slices.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the lemon juice and celery root.
  4. Cook 10 minutes or until tender.
  5. Drain, reserving ¼ cup of the cooking liquid.
  6. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  7. Heat the oil in a large skillet over med-high heat.
  8. Sauté onions, then add the tomatoes and garlic, season with salt and pepper and simmer for 5 minutes.
  9. Add the cream and the reserved cooking liquid and stir to blend.
  10. Remove from heat.
  11. Butter a large gratin dish.
  12. Layer the bottom of the dish with potatoes and sprinkle on half of the cheese.
  13. Arrange the celery root on top of the cheese, season with salt and pepper.
  14. Top the celery root with the tomato sauce mixture, then sprinkle the sauce with the remaining cheese.
  15. Bake, uncovered, about 40 minutes.
Nino Salvaggio http://www.ninosalvaggio.com/