Celeriac and Apple Salad with Watercress

Ingredients

For the vinaigrette

  • 1/2 teaspoon  Meyer lemon zest, grated finely
  • 2 tablespoons  Meyer lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon  honey
  • 1/2  shallot, chopped finely
  • 2 teaspoons  dill, chopped finely
  • 4 tablespoons  extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon  sea salt
  •   Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the salad

  • 1/4 cup  pine nuts
  • 1/2  medium-sized celeriac bulb, peeled and julienned
  • Gala or other firm-fleshed apples, halved, cored, and julienned
  • 2 bunchs  watercress, preferably hydroponic, stalks trimmed
  • snippets dill, for garnish
  •   Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Celeriac (also called celery root or knob celery) might be one of the ugliest-looking vegetables you’ll ever lay your eyes on. A plant species in the family of common celery, celeriac is grown for its bulb rather than its stems, which are stringy and unpalatable.

But beneath that scabby skin and those gnarly roots, celeriac hides an exquisitely perfumed white flesh. And although the root’s aroma is very pronounced, its flavor turns out to be quite delicate.

Combined with the fragrant, sweet apples, the ambrosial Meyer lemon vinaigrette, and the spunky watercress, this salad wakes up the taste buds, and makes you (almost) forget that it’s midwinter.

Directions

For the vinaigrette

Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk until well blended and set aside.

For the salad

Place the pine nuts in a small skillet over medium-high heat, stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes until lightly golden. Remove from heat and set aside. Combine the celeriac and apples in a large bowl. Drizzle with ½ of the vinaigrette and toss well.

Set out 4 plates. Place a small mound of the watercress leaves in the center of each plate. Top with the celeriac-apple mixture. Drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette, garnish with the pine nuts and a dill leaf. Season with additional freshly ground black ground pepper, to taste, and serve immediately.

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