This remoulade salad is beauty and the beast in a bowl.
Golden beetroot, an heirloom variety of Beta vulgaris, is anything but vulgar. The Latin vulgaris means “common”, but I was quite excited to find them peeking out of my weekly veg bag. They’re not quite as sweet as their magenta counterparts, but that works quite well in this salad. On the other hand, there’s the notoriously knobbly Apium graveolens rapaceum celeriac. It’s a close relative of familiar stalk celery, but is instead valued for its huge hypocotyl—to quote your highschool Biology textbook, that’s the part of a germinating seed between the root radicle and the cotyledon.
These two are versatile veg, often eaten and cooked (or not) in a variety of ways. As Springtime and Term 2 deadlines are creeping up rapidly on this little island, I went down the fresh and lazy route of preparing them raw. It’d go wonderfully with a meaty main or well on its own with some crusty bread and a picnic.
In France, celeriac is often eaten as a slaw with remoulade, a sauce often mayo-based and used like a tartar sauce with meats and fish dishes. When found in céleri rémoulade, it’s punctuated with mustard. Seeing as I’d already adulterated the classic version with grated beetroot, I also lightened the dressing with a lovely thick-set yogurt from London’s Neal’s Yard and spruced it up with a spattering of poppy and pistachios; poppy seeds bring out the brightness of lemon and pistachios the earthiness of beetroot… and for alliteration’s sake, if nothing else.
Golden Beetroot & Celeriac Remoulade (with Pistachio & Poppy Seed)
- 500g (½ large) celeriac
- 300g (2 medium) golden beetroot
- ½ lemon, juice and zest of
- 200g full-fat organic yogurt
- 2 T quality olive oil
- 1 T dijon mustard
- 5 sprigs fresh parsley, chopped finely
- 40g pistachios, chopped roughly
- 1 T poppy seeds
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
Peel the celeriac thickly with a knife. Grate half of it, but julienne the other half for a variation in texture; these strands shouldn’t be much thicker than a matchstick. Quickly toss in some lemon juice to keep from discolouring. Peel and grate the beetroot, keeping a few thin round slices for garnish.
Whisk together yogurt and olive oil until very smooth. Season with salt and freshly grated black pepper, then mix in the lemon zest, poppy, pistachio, and parsley.
Toss the grated celeriac and beetroot in this dressing, then set aside for about an hour to develop and mellow the flavours. To serve, sprinkle with a few chopped pistachios and parsley leaves.