Celery root and celery are members of the same family of vegetables, but Celeriac or Celery Root is not the root of the vegetable you buy called celery. This vegetable is cultivated for its root or base instead of for its stalk or leaves.
It is actually a very ugly and gnarled looking light brown bulb-type root which is very bumpy and resembling a large turnip. Celery root has a distinctive taste that can be described as a cross between strong celery and parsley with a nutty twist. It has the texture of potatoes.
Celeriac or celery root is grown like celery during the cool season. Though it can be found all winter, it is best in the fall, just after being dug up.
Celery roots can range in size from that of an apple to the size of a small cantaloupe. It is available in winter. Select firm, hard roots that are about baseball size and feel heavy. Often the bigger ones have voids or fibrous cores. If the stems and leaves are attached, they should be fresh and green. Trim side roots and leaves and store in refrigeration at 32 degrees F. with high humidity (well for a long time in a cool, dark place. This vegetable does not stand up to freezing.
Celery Root Cooking Tips:
Because the roots and dirt-filled crevices have to be trimmed away, you will lose at least a quarter, if not more, of the celeriac during peeling. Usually, a 1 pound celeriac will yield about two cups once peeled and sliced or grated. Brush the celeriac under cold water, since it may still have bits of soil stuck between the roots.
1 pound celery root = 3 cups grated celery = 1 cup cooked and pureed celery root