This is my favorite festive dish. And, even as I write that, I have to wonder whether anyone else associates remoulade — a traditional French condiment — with the holidays.
I know it seems festive to me because my husband’s family always has it on the holiday table. (Along with palatschinke and bûche de Noël and shrimp cocktail and frozen egg rolls from Trader Joe’s. Theirs is a complex culinary heritage.)
And it seems festive because it goes so well with those all those big, rich roasts that are really only worth it around the holidays. In fact, this is what I’m making to go with the smoked turkey from Ferndale Market for our annual New Year’s Eve buffet.
Remoulade in French cooking is a spiced mayonnaise, and the celeriac version is particularly popular with roast beef. Celeriac is the root of a celery plant, a close cousin of the celery you eat for the tops. It tastes of celery, lemon, and radish, and it looks just ferocious. Its outside is gnarled and nobbled and covered in little roots, often packed with dirt. To get to the good stuff inside, you need to cut a flat base and stand it on your cutting board, then work your way around with a knife, taking a good quarter inch off the outside. It does tend to brown quickly when exposed to air, so it’s good to have some lemon juice on hand.
While I almost always choose my box grater over the food processor, this is one instance when I reach for the machine with the motor. Celeriac is very hard, and in remoulade the longer strands from the food processor aren’t as unattractive as I find them in other recipes.
You can think of this remoulade as a condiment. Just dab a little on your plate next to the meat or take a big spoonful and call it a salad. And when you’ve inevitably cooked far too much and are facing days of leftovers, that bowl of remoulade in the fridge is going to be your best friend. Nothing makes a roast beef or turkey sandwich taste better.
1 medium celeriac, peeled and grated
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 medium green apple, quartered, cored, and grated
1 c mayonnaise
¼ c whole-grain mustard*
1 tbsp prepared horseradish
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Toss celeriac immediately with lemon juice to prevent browning. Stir together all ingredients. Let sit an hour or overnight to soften and allow the flavors to meld.
*I used regular brown mustard because I was out of the whole-grain variety. But trust me, it’s better.
From Eat More Vegetables.