Celery Root Salad

January 22, 2012 By: Megabeth Category: Salads, Side Dishes

Much like in the movie Ratatouille, there are many flavors that can take me back to childhood, and this is one of them. This celery root salad was a ubiquitous feature on my grandmother’s table whenever we came to visit. My mother now makes it for any special family meal.

Celery root, or celeriac, is really an ugly little thing. It’s a funny looking bulb, with dirt, and it’s hard to see it’s potential. But, once you peel off all the dirt and little poky bits, it’s a flavorful ingredient. It’s got a very unique taste which could be described as a very slight celery flavor with a little hint of parsley.

The recipe was transcribed by my grandmother from my great-great-grandmother. My mother still has that recipe card. It’s basic in its steps and has no measurements. I suppose the recipe card serves as a reminder of previous dinners and memories made while eating the salad. This salad works in its simplicity and is left to the chef’s individual preference to create that heirloom flavor.

Celery Root Salad
By Megabeth’s Great-Grandmother

celery root
red onion
fresh parsley
oil (good olive oil)
vinegar (red wine or white)
sugar, to taste

Clean dirt off celery root. Cut off green tops. Use vegetable peeler to remove outside of root until just white flesh is revealed. Chop into bite size pieces. Chop carrots.

Boil water in large pot. Add chopped celery root and carrots. Boil vegetables until fork tender.

Drain and add to bowl. (Megabeth Mother’s note: Or, use a flat container so the flavors can be evenly distributed when it’s marinating.)

In separate bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar and sugar. About 2 parts olive oil to 1 part vinegar. About a teaspoon of sugar. Drizzle over vegetables, add parsley and let marinate in refrigerator until chilled.

Tour of California: Green Goddess Dressing

May 17, 2011 By: Megabeth Category: Other, Salads, Vegetarian Tour of California

Vegetarian Tour of CaliforniaSo, the Tour of California certainly got off to an interesting start (or, rather, non-start? or, perhaps a stutter start?) For this next recipe featuring California cuisine, I take us to the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. In 1923, the English actor George Arliss was staying at the Palace Hotel. The chef was inspired to create a recipe in his honor and serve a meal to the actors in the play. He whipped up a salad dressing featuring anchovies, mayonnaise, vinegar, green onion, garlic, parsley, tarragon and chives. And, he named it after the play Arliss was starring in – The Green Goddess.


The Green Goddess, the play, involves a convoluted story of jealousy with Arliss playing a Raja infatuated by one of three survivors of a plane crash that landed in his, fictional, kingdom. Unfortunately, the woman, Lucilla, is married to another survivor. Hilarity ensues. (Hostages! Kidnapped children! Sacrifice!) Lucilla is eventually killed by a bomb leaving the Raja to end the story consoling himself with the line: ““She’d probably have been a damned nuisance.” (Why this was left off of the Top 100 Movie Quotes, I’ll never know.)

greengoddess_1930This dressing is still served at the Palace Hotel, and is known around the world, meanwhile, the play and the subsequent movie are pretty much all but forgotten.

Since we’ve got two cycling races going on now, we really don’t need to be spending a lot of time in the kitchen. This is an easy recipe that can be whipped up in a matter of minutes. I took the original recipe and adapted it a bit to fit the vegetarian or vegan taste. Capers are substituted for anchovies and the mayonnaise is cut with a little Greek yogurt. (Although, this recipe would work nicely with just the Greek yogurt if you find the taste of mayo overwhelming.)

Vegetarian Green Goddess Dressing
by Megabeth

1 cup fat-free mayonnaise (or vegan mayo)
1 cup fat-free greek yogurt
2 teaspoons chopped capers
1 green onion, chopped
2 teaspoons chopped parsley
2 teaspoons chopped chives
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
!/4 teaspoon dried OR 1 teaspoon cut, fresh tarragon

Throw it all in a blender.

Blend until smooth. Refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours before using.


Acorn Squash Wadas in Garlicky Oil

March 03, 2010 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes, Side Dishes

Acorn Squash Wadas in Garlicky Oil My bamboo steamer kept whispering to me every time I walked by it, “Use meeee. Use meeee.” So, finally, I listened and grabbed it off the shelf.

Now that the steamer was down on the counter, I knew wasn’t in the mood for an Asian dumpling so I hunted for something a little different. I’m glad I did, otherwise, I wouldn’t have found this unique recipe. It was also surprisingly quick and easy to make (if you don’t mind taking some time to grate the squash).

I used one acorn squash, and doubled all the other ingredients in the original recipe and was rewarded with 20 dumplings. It was enough for two hungry adults to wolf down as a main dish. It’s probably enough for a family of four to have as a side dish.

I also substituted flat leaf Italian parsley for the cilantro and reduced the amount of coriander. (Frequent readers will know that my in-house taste tester is the victim of the “soapy taste blues” whenever tasting either cilantro and coriander. So, as always, feel free to use what you wish.)

Acorn Squash Wadas in Garlicky Oil
from Laxmi’s Vegetarian Kitchen

Squash Dumplings:

  • 1 small acorn squash
  • 2 fresh hot green chili, stemmed and minced
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 4 tablespoons chick pea flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 tablespoons mild peanut or vegetable oil, plus more for brushing the steamer
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 2 or 3 garlic cloves cut into slivers
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley (original recipe used cilantro)

Peel and seed the squash. Grate and measure 1 1/2 cups of squash.  Combine with the remaining dumpling ingredients and mix well. (Note: I sort of mushed the mixture together using the back of a spoon. I noticed the finer the grate, the better the mixture stayed together.)

Brush a steamer basket with oil or line a bamboo steamer with cheesecloth. Bring at least 1 inch of water to a boil in the steaming pot. Place heaping tablespoonfuls of the squash mixture 1/2 inch apart in the steamer basket.

Place over the boiling water, cover, and steam until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 4 minutes. You may have to steam them in batches. depending on the size of your steamer; add more boiling water for the second batch if necessary. (Note: I have a double steamer and was able to steam all 20 dumplings at the same time.) Ease out gently with a metal spatula and turn into a shallow serving dish.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds; when the seeds begin to sizzle and splutter, stir in the garlic. Cook until the garlic is lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the parsley.

Pour the seasoned oil over the dumplings, scraping the skillet with a rubber spatula. Toss well to coat. Serve immediately. Makes 4 to 6 servings. Preparation time: 15 minutes.

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Chick-Peas Vinaigrette

July 18, 2009 By: Megabeth Category: Culinary Tour de France, Other, Salads, Side Dishes

This is fully loaded vinaigrette recipe is next up in this Vegetarian Tour de France.  This recipe comes from what I find is in a cookbook amusingly called “Jean Hewitt’s International Meatless Cookbook: Over 300 Delicious Recipes, Including Many for Fish and Chicken.” Uh, yeah…anyways…

I substituted the red wine vinegar with champagne vinegar and it came out so good that we couldn’t wait the two hours to let the flavors soak in. In fact, it sat for about 15 minutes and was nearly eaten in one sitting. (I can’t really report on how the fully marinated leftovers tasted the next day as they were eaten by another party in this house…)

Just a heads up, the recipe calls for one large red onion. I only used a half of a red onion and found that there were plenty of onions in the salad. A whole onion may overwhelm the dish – but I leave it to your tastes as to how you want to prepare it. That said, you can probably get away with throwing in some more cheese and chickpeas into the mix. I had a lot of the dressing leftover because I didn’t want to over saturate the salad.

Chick-Peas Vinaigrette
Jean Hewitt’s International Meatless Cookbook

2 cans (15.5 ounces) chick-peas, drained and rinsed
1 large red onion, thinly sliced and separated into rings
1 cup tiny cubes Gruyere or Swiss
2/3 cup olive or vegetable oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar (I used champagne vinaigrette instead.)
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives, or 4 tablespoons freeze-dried
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 hard-cooked egg
2 tablespoons drained capers

Place the chick-peas, onion rings, and cheese in a medium-sized bowl.

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Chick-Peas Vinaigrette

In a screw-cap jar combine te oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper, chives, parsley, chopped white of the egg, and the capers.

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Chick-Peas Vinaigrette

Shake to mix.

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Chick-Peas Vinaigrette

Pour enough of the dressing over the salad to coat when tossed. Cover and chill several hours. Serve in a lettuce-lined bowl with finely sieved egg yolk as a garnish.

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Chick-Peas Vinaigrette

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Chick-Peas Vinaigrette

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