Celeriac remoulade picnic salad

Coleslaw’s out: there’s a new summer salad in town, and it’s made for picnics. This popular French salad hasn’t quite made it’s way to England yet, despite spilling out of every boucherie our neighbour has to offer. 

This creamy, crunchy, aromatic salad works wonders when paired with some thick sliced ham from the deli, a meaty sausage roll, smoked cheese, or anything else with a naturally salty flavour. My favourite way to have this is to pack it into a jar and take it on a summer evening’s picnic with some salty ham, a crusty baguette, and a chilled glass of white wine. Pure heaven.

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It’s delightfully simple: mayonnaise and celeriac – although it’s definitely best to make your own mayo, which is also delightfully simple to make. The below recipe is a slightly more potent version of a traditional mayonnaise with extra vinegar and mustard as you need to balance the strong flavour of celeriac.

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The trick with this recipe is all in getting the right texture – also simple, but you do need the right equipment.

Every food processor should come with multiple attachments. You want a cheese grater-esque attachment (I’m talking about fat strings of cheddar, not delicate wisps of parmesan). But using a normal grater won’t work as it will create short strands – it needs to be a blender or mandolin with an attachment like the one below, which will create long strands. This will give your celeriac remoulade that necessary crunch.

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Ingredients (6 side portions)

1 celeriac (600g)

500ml sunflower oil (or you can split it 4:1 sunflower oil to walnut oil)
3 large egg yolks (organic eggs)
1 dessert spoon dijon mustard
1 – 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
Squeeze of half a lemon
Pinch of salt

Method

  1. Chop the roots off the celeriac and peel the rest. Chop it up into sections that will just about fit into the chute of the blender (no smaller otherwise your celeriac strands will be very short – you want them as long as possible). Put the blender on and put through all of the celeriac, then tip into a nice big bowl. Squeeze over the lemon.
  2. Mayonnaise can be tricky, but the answer is to go slow and to use fresh eggs. Break the egg yolks into a big bowl, and throw in a generous pinch of salt. Add the mustard, and mix together with a whisk so it’s all incorporated.
  3. Slowly trickle in a little bit of oil, and keep whisking. Keep trickling in more oil. You can pour in the oil with a heavier (but not too heavy) hand once you’re quarter way through your oil. It should be really quite thick – if it splits and becomes very runny, you’ll have to start again, but this has only happened to me once, and is generally because the eggs aren’t fresh.
  4. Once you’ve whisked in all the oil, add your white wine vinegar and give it a taste. You want the mayonnaise dressing to be quite pungent so if you feel it isn’t vinegary enough, add another spoon. You can also add some more lemon juice and salt now if you wish. Mix with the celeriac, and you’re ready to go!

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