what do you get when you cross celeriac rémoulade with coleslaw? a wonderful winter salad

celeriac winter salad
The King of the One-Liner, Henny Youngman's advice "If you're going to do something tonight that you'll be sorry for tomorrow morning, sleep late" has been a personal code of practice of mine for many years, but last Sunday I had absolutely no excuse for oversleeping, sadly, except for sheer laziness.

But when I woke up I had that sinking sense of something important is supposed to be happening and I can’t remember what it is, accompanied by a heart-in-mouth feeling. I looked at my clock, blanched, leapt out of bed and hurtled to the kitchen in my jammies to wrestle a very large bird from fridge to oven, without any of the usual niceties.

You see I had Sunday lunch guests arriving in less than two hours and the chicken wasn’t even at room temperature, let alone lovingly massaged with masses of herb butter and soothed in a gentle bath of lemon juice. Yikes! Normally I am up early on Sundays as I really enjoy cooking a big lunch. Everything is prepped and ready to go so that I can enjoy my cooking and chill out at the same time. I can delude myself that this is effortless entertaining, that I am as soignée as some kind of 1930s hostess in her silk lounging pyjamas, knocking back the Dubonnet. (A girl can dream). Instead, I am flapping around in winceyette, glugging builders' tea like my life depended on it.

So the chicken was unceremoniously shoved in the oven, while I prepped the spuds for the roasties. All my other plans for a carrot purée, roasted parsnips and celeriac gratin, went out the window. I was out of time. Instead I made a sort of celeriac rémoulade-coleslaw using the root vegetables. I adore celeriac, as I am sure you know, and grated in a salad allows you the full benefit of its peppery celery flavour, which combined with a creamy, tangy mustard dressing is a marriage made in heaven. Carrots and red cabbage added to the crunch factor and a very pretty colour. So out of adversity (well my laziness) comes something simple but delicious.

By the way, don't make this too far in advance - it is much better made about one hour before serving. Although to contradict myself, it survived overnight in the fridge and was fabulous the next day in a ham sandwich with added gherkins and capers.

Serves 4 (as a side dish)

Skill level: Easy

1 x small celeriac (about 500g)
1-2 x carrots
½ x small red cabbage (about 200g)
about 1 tbsp x red onion (optional), very finely chopped
juice of ½ lemon or a splash of sherry or cider vinegar
3 tbsp good quality mayonnaise, (Shop bought is fine - I often
use either Hellman's or Sainsbury's French Mayonnaise!)
1 tbsp crème fraîche, sour cream or natural yoghurt
2 tsp wholegrain mustard
salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Peel then grate the celeriac - no thicker than a matchstick. (I used an old-fashioned grater, but you could use a mandolin or a food processor). Toss the shredded celeriac with the lemon juice or vinegar immediately. This both adds to the flavour as well as keeping the celeriac from discolouring.
  2. Grate the carrots and finely shred the cabbage and add to the celeriac. I like to add about 1 tablespoon of very finely chopped red onion too.
  3. Beat together the mayonnaise, crème fraîche and mustard. Check the seasoning. 
  4. Toss the grated vegetables with the dressing until they are lightly coated but not overwhelmed.

  • Use English or Dijon mustard rather than wholegrain mustard.
  • Add a little chopped parsley for colour.
  • Give it more of a tartare sauce vibe with chopped capers and gherkins. It is fabulous with ham in a sandwich.
  • Add a little grated beetroot just before serving. (Don’t add to early as the beetroot juice will turn the whole salad an ice-cream pink colour!)
  • Next time I might add some grated kolrabi
  • Add a few toasted, chopped hazelnuts or walnuts.
  • Leftovers will last about 1 day in the fridge - great for a lunchbox salad.


o cozinheiro este algarve said...

I shouldn´t laugh but I did.Been there so many times!!!!!

Letterslive said...

Oh yummy.

Our local market stall is selling delicious and tender home-grown celeriac at the moment. So guess what's on the menu this weekend?

belleau kitchen said...

such an excellent idea... I think celeriac is the food of the gods so this is going on my list to do for Christmas day!

Karen S Booth said...

Brilliant idea and I adore celeriac, especially in remoulade as well as puréed too. Karen