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Celery Root Coleslaw. Celeriac Waldorf Slaw - A Great Make Ahead Coleslaw

Updated on June 23, 2009

tastes Better Than It Looks!

It’s a tough life you know…I happen to love plain Jane cabbage coleslaw and would be content for a thousand picnics to prepare and play with variations birthed from the ever so humble cabbage.

But alas alack, when you cook for a living people expect a little more from you, and they can’t help but look a little disappointed when you serve them up a little mayo-coleslaw instead of the gourmet fare they’d been anticipating.

Luckily, I’ve got an ace up my sleeves – CELERIAC!

Celeriac is a vegetable that has yet to gain great popularity as a backyard BBQ kind of food, but the French have long known of its pleasures and serve celery root salad as a classic bistro side dish.

Celery root (celeriac) tastes like an earthy, sweeter and subtler (more grown up) version of regular celery. It tastes a lot better than it looks, which isn’t saying much, as this misshapen tuber won’t win any beauty contests anytime soon…and it can be julienned (on a mandolin, a food processor or by hand) into thin strips that are perfect for slaw.

And unlike cabbage, celeriac can stand dressed for a couple of days without losing it’s texture or character, making it a great make ahead food, perfect for a picnic.

Once you get the hang of celeriac, you’ll come up with a thousand salads of your own – but here is an easy one to get you started, one based on the tastes, textures and flavors of a classic waldorf salad, served as a backyard coleslaw.

Waldorf Coleslaw

  • A large sized celery root – about 2 pounds, peeled and then shredded julienne style, in a food processor, in a mandolin or with a good sharp chefs knife
  • 3 Apples; peeled and cut into thin slices. A tart apple is good here, but use whatever you’ve got ( I like Granny Smith)
  • ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of mayonnaise – or more as needed.
  • ½ tsp of salt (add more to taste if needed)
  • 3/4 cup of toasted walnut or pecan pieces
  • A couple of spoonfuls of finely chopped onion (or shallots are even better)

Combine all the ingredients, making sure to cover the apples completely in the “dressing”. Add the lesser amount of mayo first, and use more if the celery dominates. As always, add more salt to taste. Add a little sugar if it tastes too tart.

Make as far as a day ahead, this slaw keeps very well.


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