Celeriac, Kale, Quinoa and Fig Salad
During the winter months a favorite root vegetable of mine is celeriac or celery root. Not a big fan of celery I am partial to the milder flavor of celeriac and was so happy to be introduced to it several years ago through my CSA.
Celeriac is a cousin to anise, carrots, parsley and turnips and tastes like a milder form of celery with a hint of parsley. Unlike most root vegetables it has very little starch. An ugly brownish hairball of a vegetable, it must be peeled of its outer layer. To get rid of the skin I use a knife to cut it away. I guess a vegetable peeler could be used but I have never tried it because of the bulb’s irregular shape.
During the winter months when a recipe calls for celery I often replace it with celeriac. For this salad, I choose the celeriac first and assembled the rest of the ingredients around its subtle distinctive crunchy flavor. I also sautéed it for about 10 minutes to get rid of the raw taste and bring out the mellow flavor. I choose to include figs for their sweetness and texture as a wonderful contrast to the celeriac, quinoa to offer a nutty flavor and protein. And, of course, kale as the salad green for its wonderful flavor and bulk. The dressing is simply lime juice and olive oil which brightens all the flavors. A wonderful sweetness and tartness are exchanged between the plumped figs and lime juice.
- 1 small to medium size Celeriac or Celery Root peeled, chopped into ½ inch pieces
- knob of coconut oil
- ½ cup dried Figs chopped
- ¼ cup Quinoa
- ½ cup water for cooking Quinoa
- 1 bunch green Curly Kale or Kale of your choice, stems removed and chopped into large pieces
- 3 tbsp Olive Oil
- Juice of one Lime
- Place chopped figs in a heat proof bowl. Boil one cup water and pour over figs to plump them.
- Rinse quinoa and place in a sauce pan with ½ cup of water. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce to simmer and cook for 15 minutes until water is absorbed. Let sit for 10 minutes and fluff with fork.
- While quinoa is cooking heat knob of coconut oil in large heavy pot. Add peeled and chopped celeriac and sauté for about 10 minutes stirring frequently. Celeriac should soften a bit but have a tooth. When cooked to desired crunchiness add Kale and cook until wilted and losses some of its toughness.
- Transfer cooked celeriac and kale to a large bowl. Drain figs and combine with kale and celeriac. Fluff quinoa and add to large bowl. Pour the olive oil over the salad as well as the juice of the lime. Add salt and pepper and toss. Taste, adjust the amount of olive oil and lime juice as desired. Serve.
- This salad store wells in the fridge for several days.