I’m back today with another awesome root veggie side dish. This one is for Simple Sauteed Celery Root with Garlic and Herbs. It’s an easy and delicious way to cook celeriac, as it’s sometimes known, and goes great with so many meals.

a modern white bowl filled with herbed celeriac with navy napkin with herbs

Long ago (wow almost five years ago) I posted this recipe for Sesame Chicken Celery Root Salad and at the time it was the only recipe I had shared using this random root. I later followed that up with these roasted root veggies and this chicken vegetable soup. And just this week, I shared my new recipe for Vegetable Mash. All recipes featuring Celery Root!

It occured to me that I hadn’t yet shared the recipe that I personally use most often for cooking celery root, the one that is about as basic and easy as it gets: Simple Sauteed Celery Root with Garlic and Herbs.

This is my favorite way of preparing celeriac and one that I go to over and over again. I just love the texture that cooking it in a skillet with a little liquid and butter gives it. {It gets so creamy!} And the addition of garlic and herbs goes great with so many main course recipes.

What Is Celery Root

Botanical Family: Celery Root also known as Celeriac (Apium graveolens) is a root vegetable in the Umbelliferae family, related to common celery (or what we know as the stalk variety of celery.) Both come from different cultivars of the same plant.

Relatives: Celeriac is a cool season biennial in the same family as parsnips and carrots as well as several herbs such as parsley, coriander, dill and chervil.

Hypocotyl: I say it is a root veggie, because we eat the part of the plant that grows beneath the ground, but it’s actually a “bulbous hypocotyl”, which is the the part of the plant where its stem and root meets. From there, the actual roots are those hairs all over its surface. {Source}

Edible Part: While celery is grown for its light green crunchy stalks, celery root is grown for it’s creamy white root. The leaves and stems of celery root are edible.

Taste: The taste of Celeriac is very similar to celery but it is more mild, not as bitter, and has a slightly earthy and nutty flavor.

Season: It is in season in the fall and winter. It is harvested in the middle to end of the summer growing season. Once the stalks are removed, the root can be used as a storing crop, and kept in cold storage for weeks or even months.

Purchasing and Storing Celery Root

Celery root is not the prettiest produce item, but don’t let that dissuade you from trying it. Here’s what you need to know about purchasing and storing it.

Appearance

three celery roots
  • These greenish, brown and white globe-shaped roots have a rough and craggy exterior.
  • The stem end will likely have small to very little amounts of the stems attached. Some had been heavily trimmed when harvested, so it appeared almost flat on one side.
  • The “root” end will have nubs of where the roots grew down below the above mentioned hypocotyl.
  • Occasionally, at specialty markets and farmers’ markets, you can find celery root with stalks attached.
  • Avoid any that have soft or slimy spots, as they may not have been properly stored.

Storage

  • Celery root can be stored for months in a proper root cellar.
  • If the stems are attached remove them before storage.
  • For those of us without one, we can keep it in the fridge for about a month.
  • Note that it can dry out if it is not in a bag. If it is too moist, it can get slimy and start to rot.
  • Using a reusable Produce Bag is best as it will keep in the moisture. While I love the compostable bags that several of the stores around me are using, I do not recommend storing produce in them for more than a week.
celeriac in a white bowl from the side

How To Make Simple Sauteed Celery Root with Garlic and Herbs

This recipe is a one pot, easy as can be recipe! All you need is a skillet with a lid and a sharp knife. Here’s how to make it.

Peel The Outside

Peel the celeriac with a sharp knife
Step 1. Peel the celeriac with a sharp knife to remove the rough exterior.
  1. Cut the root end of the celery root to create a flat steady surface for cutting.
  2. Turn the celery root so that it stands on end on the flat side.
  3. Use your sharp pairing or chef’s knife to peel the exterior off the bulb.
  4. As you peel the area where the roots at the bottom were attached, you may have to take a little extra to eliminate all of the pithy brown fissures.

Cut Into Cubes

Cut the celery root into 1-inch cubes
Step 2. Cut the celery root into 1-inch cubes.

Cut the celery root into 1-inch thick slabs, lengths and then cubes.

Occasionally you’ll find that there is a slight hollow area in the center of the root. This is normal, and just has to do with the way that the celery root ages, and is just an indication of it being stored for a longer period of time.

Celery root, along with apples and avocado tends to brown as it oxidizes, so it is best to cook it right after you cut it. You can also put it in acidulated water, but make sure you rinse and dry it well before trying to sauté it, as additional moisture should be avoided.

Saute the Celery Root

Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add olive oil and swirl to combine. Add the celery root and cook, stirring occasionally until it is browned in spots.
3. Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add olive oil and swirl to combine. Add the celery root and cook, stirring occasionally until it is browned in spots.

Next you’ll sauté the celery root. The point of this is to add a little caramelization. This step brings out that nutty taste that is unique to celery root.

  1. Melt the butter in the skillet. (The butter may sputter and splatter so stand back.)
  2. Swirl in some Extra-virgin olive oil.
  3. Add in the celery root.
  4. Let the celery root take on some color, and cook it for about 5 minutes, while stirring every once in a while.

Add the garlic

stirring in the garlic
Step 4. Add the chopped garlic to the skillet, and cook, stirring often until the garlic is fragrant but not browned.

Once the cubes of celeriac are browned on one or two sides, you can add in the garlic. It only needs several seconds to take the raw taste of the garlic down a notch and let it start to brown, so that’s why we wait to add it in after the celeriac has browned for five minutes. If we had added them in together, the garlic would burn and taste bitter.

The skillet with the lid on.
Step 5. Add broth or water to the skillet and immediately cover with the lid to trap in the steam.

To stop the garlic from cooking too much and burning, add in the water or broth. This will keep the garlic from tasting bitter.

Cooking celery root with liquid gives it a creamy texture and is therefore my preferred method of cooking it.

Add the herbs and seasoning

 add the herbs and seasoning to the skillet.
6. Remove the lid and add the herbs and seasoning to the skillet.
  • After about 5 minutes of cooking covered the celery root should be fork tender and most of the liquid in the skillet will be evaporated.
  • If it is still very liquidy in the skillet, let it cook for two minutes uncovered.
  • Add in the herbs, salt and pepper.
  • Cook stirring to coat with the herbs and to let the sauce thicken up a little bit.
  • Remove from the heat and enjoy!
 a modern white bowl filled with herbed celery root on a navy napkin.

More Simple Vegetables Recipes

Thanks so much for reading. If you make this recipe, please let me know by leaving a star rating and review.

Happy Cooking!

~Katie

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celery root veggies in a bowl

simple sautéed celery root

  • Author: Katie
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 3 cups 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American

Description

If you are new to cooking with celeriac, or celery root as it is also called, start with this simple recipe for Sautéed Celery Root with Garlic and Herbs. It is easy to prepare and the flavors of this side dish pair well with many meals.


Scale

Ingredients

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 large celery root (celeriac), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ cup water or broth

1 teaspoon chopped thyme

1 teaspoon chopped rosemary

½ teaspoon salt

Freshly ground pepper to taste

1 tablespoon chopped parsley, optional


Instructions

  1. Sautee: Melt butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add oil and swirl to combine. Add celery root and cook, stirring occasionally until the celery root is browned in spots, 5 to 6 minutes.
  2. Brown Garlic: Add garlic and cook, stirring until the garlic is fragrant and just starting to brown.
  3. Steam: Add water and immediately cover with the lid. Cook the celery root, covered, until tender, about 5 minutes.
  4. Finish with Herbs: Remove lid and sprinkle on thyme, rosemary salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often until the celery root is tender and the water is completely evaporated, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in parsley.

Notes

Make Ahead Instructions

This recipe can be made ahead and reheated in the microwave or on the stove top. 

Microwave: Place the celery root in a microwave safe bowl. Cover with a small layer of parchment, and then a layer of plastic wrap. Microwave on high until steaming hot. It may be necessary to stir and continue cooking. 

Stove Top: Transfer the celeriac to a non-stick skillet. Add 2 tablespoons water, cover and heat over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally and cook, until the celeriac is heated through. 

To Make This Recipe Vegan or Whole30 Compliant: 

Use vegetable broth or water and olive oil or hazelnut oil instead of the butter.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 3/4 cup
  • Calories: 160
  • Sugar: 3 g
  • Fat: 12 g
  • Saturated Fat: 4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 10 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 4 g
a close up of celeriac in a white bowl