Brow Beat

What to Do With Celery Root

Fall is the season when strange, unfamiliar vegetables begin invading CSA shares and farmers’ market bins. I don’t believe I ever set eyes on Romanesco, kohlrabi, sunchokes, or celeriac until I was an adult. At first glance, they are disconcerting, even terrifying: Romanesco looks like green alien cauliflower; kohlrabi like a colorful notched turnip; sunchokes like thumbs made out of ginger root; celeriac like a hairy, malformed vital organ. (Mark Bittman has aptly nicknamed it “brain fruit.”)

But in truth, these vegetables taste quite a bit like hybrids of other, more familiar fruits and vegetables: Romanesco has a texture midway between cauliflower and broccoli; kohlrabi is juicy and crisp like an apple but broccoli-flavored; sunchokes are like juicy, crisp potatoes that you can eat raw; celeriac is starchy like a potato but with celery’s refreshing flavor. I made you a five-circle Venn diagram on Lucidchart to help you keep these flavors and textures straight:

I also made you a video on how to attack the least attractive of these vegetables—celery root—and make it palatable.