There are several types of vegetables that can be used to mimic noodles (spaghetti squash, zucchini) but none do it as well as celeriac. Peeled strands of this rugged root will cook to al dente in less than 3 minutes, making a fine bowl of faux fettuccine.
Celeriac noodles can be topped with any of your favorite sauces, but are especially good with this parsley pesto that matches the clean, fresh flavor of the noodles. Celeriac (also called celery root) has an herbal, pleasantly bitter flavor that will remind you of both celery and parsley. The flavor is stronger when raw and quite mild when cooked.
This pale root is hiding a surprising amount of nutrients beneath its humble exterior: vitamin C, vitamin K, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin B6 and magnesium. In addition to making noodles, celeriac can be shaved raw into salads, boiled like a potato or puréed into soup.
Time in the Kitchen: 25 minutes
1 to 2 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon raw sunflower seeds or chopped nut of your choice (10 g)
1/4 to 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (45 to 22 g)
1 bunch parsley, mostly just the leaves
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more as desired (60 ml)
1 bulb of celery root (celeriac)
In a food processor, blend seeds/nuts, garlic and cheese until finely chopped.
Add the parsley and pulse a few times. With the blade running, drizzle in the olive oil. If desired, add more than 1/4 cup olive oil until the pesto has the consistency you want. Add salt to taste.
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.
Use a paring knife to carefully slice the skin and knobs off the celeriac root.
Cut the peeled root into several long slices that are roughly 1/2-inch wide. (13 mm)
(Exposed celeriac turns brown quickly. If not cooking immediately, immerse the slices in water and lemon juice)
Use a vegetable peeler to peel thin “noodles” (about 4 inches/10 cm long) off the top of the longest edge of the slices.
Boil the celeriac noodles for 2 to 3 minutes until tender.
Drain. Immediately toss with pesto or another type of sauce.