What to do with celeriac….otherwise known as celery root? You may know it from restaurants, on the menu as celeriac soup or in celeriac sauce but I feel that we all could incorporate this ugly little veggie into our daily lives much more. Celeriac is a root veggie and is tasty, versatile and super healthy, too. I decided that we need a better fruit and veggie salad to brighten up this season so I combined celeriac and parsley with apple and pomegranate and about the most delicious dressing you’ve ever had in this celeriac and apple salad with vanilla honey dressing that’s perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or a holiday party.
When we were prepping and slicing the celery root, my intern rightly noted that it looks like the screaming mandrake plants in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Brown, wrinkly, knotted and a bit hairy, it’s best to trim off the outside of celeriac and then use the white inner meaty part.
The white celery root veggie pairs so well with crisp, sweet apple and when sliced (I used my mandoline then a knife), they look the same. Crunchy pomegranate arils and flat leaf parsley brighten up the salad to that it’s cheerful and colorful and also offer a punch of antioxidants to the mix. One thing I love about this salad is the complex textures and flavors going on. It’s a very interesting dish that’s also super quick and easy to make.
My favorite part of this salad is definitely the dressing. I adapted it from another simple olive oil and honey-based dressing that includes lemon juice to keep the apple from browning and lend some bright acid to the balance, but I wanted to put in some vanilla and it turned out amazingly. I’d suggest making this dressing for any type of salad – fruit, green, and beyond.
If you’d like to make this dressing vegan, no problem! Just swap out the honey for maple syrup or agave and it will be a similar flavor and viscosity. You can use curly parsley instead of flat leaf if you chop it finely…always feel free to mix it up based on what you have on hand.
One thing I’m excited about for this recipe is the nutrition. Celeriac is so amazing. It has a very low glycemic load, though its mostly carbs – it IS a root veggie after all. Low in calories and high in fiber, this is a filling veggie. It contains calcium, magnesium, and potassium as well as vitamin C, K, and folate. Specific health benefits of eating more celeriac include improved heart health, better digestion, bone building nutrients and potential anti-cancer properties.
When you bring this Celeriac and Apple Salad with Vanilla Honey Dressing, to a party or serve it to open up a holiday meal that you’re hosting, you’ll surprise your guests. I love mixing it up with an unexpected option during the holidays. Everyone is so used to tradition that it’s fun to offer familiar colors and flavors with a twist so as to complement the other foods of the season.
If you need some other healthier options this holiday, try my farro risotto with butternut squash and sage, carrot ginger turmeric mimosa, and simple pumpkin hummus. If you need some tips for self-care this season, I’ve got that, too here on the blog with 6 tips for a stress-free holiday. Enjoy!
Celeriac and Apple Salad with Vanilla Honey DressingPrint Pin Rate
- 1 small/medium celery root, peeled and slices thinly then cut into matchsticks
- 1 medium apple, cored and cut into matchsticks (skin on!)
- 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
- 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (1/2-1 medium lemon)
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
- Combine celery root, apple and pomegranate seeds in a medium mixing bowl. Whisk together olive oil, lemon, honey and vanilla then add thyme leaves. Toss salad gently with dressing then serve and top with parsley for garnish.
Ginger Hultin,MS, RD, CSO
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