Celery root (also known as celeriac) is one of the most overlooked and underutilized vegetables in the produce section. Most people skip over it not because they dislike it, but because they have no idea what it looks like or what to do with it.

If you’ve never seen a celery root, it’s a roundish brown-and-white root vegetable with lots of smaller, hairlike roots poking out all over it. It has a lighter celery flavor than the stalks and works well in soups or as a purée. It softens up nicely when cooked.

To prepare celery root, use a vegetable peeler or paring knife to peel off the outer layer, then cube or roughly chop it (depending on the recipe). Give it an extra rinse to remove any residual dirt, as it tends to gather in the crevices of the root.

This recipe for celery root espuma is one of my favorite new additions to savory dishes. The combination of cream, garlic, thyme and nutmeg complements the subtle celery flavor, and the resulting espuma, or foam, gives the meal a sophisticated flair. Try it on steak tartare or a wonton canape with smoked salmon.

Note: You will need a siphon or whipped cream dispenser to prepare this recipe.

All It Takes

3 cups heavy cream
4 sprigs of thyme
2 garlic cloves, peeled
3 cups peeled and chopped celery root
Dash of nutmeg
Salt & pepper to taste

Let’s Get Cooking

  1. Bring cream, thyme and garlic to a boil.
  2. Add the celery root and bring back to a boil. Then, reduce to a simmer.
  3. Once the celery root is fully cooked and fork-tender, strain and reserve the cream.
  4. Discard the thyme sprigs, then place the cooked celery root and garlic into a blender. Add nutmeg, salt and pepper and purée until thin. Use the reserved cream to thin out the purée. You are going for a yogurt consistency.
  5. Once the purée is complete, place it into a siphon and apply two carbon dioxide charges. Be sure to vigorously shake the siphon just before serving. Espuma will hold for 24 hours if refrigerated.

Here at The Austin Artisan, we’ve been topping some dishes on our catering menu with a wonderful celery root espuma this week. Our boutique catering services include impressive edibles like this at every event. Contact us to get the scoop!