Name that root! (or tuber, I suppose)
September 19, 2007 8:34 AM   Subscribe

Can you identify this vegetable?

A friend, who gets a weekly drop of produce from a CSA farm, got a vegetable she can't identify in yesterday's harvest. My first thought was rutabaga, but she says the greens aren't right, and the stratification at the bottom is odd. Moreover, she claims that the dark coating is not all dirt. Any ideas? And what does she do with it? Thanks.

(And yes, unfortunately, this is the only photo I have.)
posted by uncleozzy to Food & Drink (16 answers total)
Kolhrabi, I believe.
posted by iwhitney at 8:37 AM on September 19, 2007

Would help if I spelled it correctly.
posted by iwhitney at 8:37 AM on September 19, 2007

Seconding Khol Rabi
posted by Ness at 8:37 AM on September 19, 2007

Actually, I might rescind my initial guess. It could be Celery Root, judging by the leaves & the tight bunching of the growths.
posted by iwhitney at 8:39 AM on September 19, 2007

Oops, I spelled it wrong too but you get the idea.
posted by Ness at 8:39 AM on September 19, 2007

Can she call up the farm and ask?
posted by occhiblu at 8:42 AM on September 19, 2007

It looks like celeriac from the picture.

If it, it tastes somewhat like celery, although I like it a bit more. You peel it, and you can toss it diced into soups to give them a nice flavor.
posted by ugf at 8:44 AM on September 19, 2007

I'm in Mass. with a house full of CSA farmers/recipients, and we just got our Kohlrabi a few weeks ago, so I'm 3rding that answer.

It's great sauteed with fresh herbs and other root vegetables! It just takes a bit longer to soften up.
posted by coolhappysteve at 8:45 AM on September 19, 2007

Seconding celeriac.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 8:45 AM on September 19, 2007

Sure, she could call the farm, but what would be the fun in that? I think it might be celery root -- that was my other guess, but the picture I was looking at had a celery stalk attached to the root, which this example clearly doesn't have.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:46 AM on September 19, 2007

Here's a few recipes for celeriac from my former CSA. This opens up a PDF of their newsletter from a few years ago.

We used to get celeriac a lot at this time of year and it took a while for me to try it - it really is pretty ugly and there were other things in the box I like more than this. I ended up liking to have it my crisper to use in place of celery when I cooked because my partner doesn't like the stringy-ness of celery but I like celery taste in some things.
posted by ugf at 8:49 AM on September 19, 2007

Well, I just received an email, the entirety of which was, "the mystery veggie is celeriac," so it looks like Mefi did good. And very quickly, as usual. I'll send along the recipes, too; thanks, ugf.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:58 AM on September 19, 2007

Celeriac for sure. It's a popular vegetable here (in Hungary), which I sort of vaguely remembered from my home (Sarajevo), but was confused about at a Hare Krishna restaurant where they served a "slice" of this enormous root, breaded and fried, and told me it was "celery." Never having seen a stalk of celery that could produce a slice so large, I went to the market and voila. It's good stuff, actually.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 9:19 AM on September 19, 2007

Celery root is tough to work with but makes one of the best salads of all time.
You have to grate or shred it, then marinate it in a little salt and lemon juice to soften it, then mix with a mix of mustard and mayo. Absolute heaven!
posted by CunningLinguist at 10:34 AM on September 19, 2007 [1 favorite]

If you find it too strong on its own, celeriac is great in a potato gratin and is an excellent soup veggie as well.
posted by jocelmeow at 6:48 PM on September 19, 2007

celeriac culinariac Meta-yak
posted by rob511 at 7:17 PM on September 19, 2007

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