Parmesan Quinoa on Sautéed and Lemon-Braised Celery Root

Parmesan Quinoa on Sautéed and Lemon-Braised Celery Root

I'm always looking out for a good idea to use quinoa, as much for its delicately sweet and delightful nutty flavor as for the exceptional nutritional properties that this ancient South American staple provides, including a nearly perfect amino acid balance as well as a good source of fiber, protein, iron, calcium, phosphorus and vitamins B and E. So I was intrigued to see the unusual combination of flavors in the lemon braised celery root with Parmesan quinoa from Lucullian Delights, especially as Ilva had prefaced the recipe with a story of how cold it was at her home in northern Italy. If it could warm her up there, it ought naturally to be just as wonderful and comforting in the middle of a Canadian winter as well, I figured, and it also sounded like the perfect accompaniment to the northern Italian-inspired romano bean and vegetable soup I had been planning.

Celery root, or celeriac, is something I've rarely cooked with, which is a shame given its distinctive flavor, somewhere between turnip and celery. Although not widely used here in North America, it's usually available at larger markets throughout the fall and winter, and happens to be an excellent source of potassium in addition to being a good source of phosphorus, magnesium, iron, and vitamins B6 and C. Once peeled, it discolors quickly, so it is best to prepare it right before cooking or, if not, sprinkle it with lemon juice. As Ilva describes, it goes wonderfully with rosemary and lemon. I haven't done much much differently here than she did, with the exceptions of sautéing the celery root before braising it with the lemon juice, to give it it a little crispness on the outside, and using dried rosemary instead of fresh, given the relative difficulty of finding fresh rosemary in Canada at this time of year.

Parmesan quinoa on sautéed and lemon-braised celery root Parmesan Quinoa on Sautéed and Lemon-Braised Celery Root
Recipe by
Adapted from Lucullian Delights
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Published on February 15, 2008

Wholesome and nutritious Parmesan quinoa served over a bed of sautéed and lemon-braised celery root

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  • 1 cup quinoa (3 cups cooked)
  • 4 tablespoons fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large celery root, peeled and cut into french-fry size sticks
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
  • juice of 1 large lemon
  • coarse ground sea salt, to taste
  • Rinse the quinoa under cold running water over a very fine strainer, then soak overnight with 2 cups of water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cover, letting simmer for 20 minutes or until the water is absorbed. Remove from the heat and fluff thoroughly with a fork. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and set aside, covered.

  • Meanwhile, heat a large skillet or wok over medium heat. When hot, pour in the olive oil, wait a few seconds, then swirl around to coat the bottom of the pan. Drop in the celery root and sprinkle the rosemary over top. Sauté for 10 to 15 minutes, turning the celery root over occasionally, until the sticks have turned golden brown.

  • Reduce the heat to medium-low. Drizzle the lemon juice over the celery root, and immediately cover the pan. Simmer the celery root in the lemon juice for 5 minutes, until soft.

  • Arrange the celery root sticks on plates and grind coarse sea salt to taste over top. Spoon a quarter of the Parmesan quinoa over each bed of celery root, and serve.

Makes 4 servings


Peter M said...

Lisa, I tried celery root for the first time last year...enjoyed it a lot and they would make great fries.

Astra Libris said...

Mmmm, this sounds like a scrumptious way to prepare quinoa... It's a favorite of mine too - three cheers for quinoa's healthful deliciousness!

Anonymous said...

At first glance at your photo, I thought this was quinoa with roasted parsnip! But celery root is wonderful--I have basically only one recipe I use with it, and am so happy to find another that sounds this good. The quinoa-celeriac combination is really intriguing.

eatme_delicious said...

Sounds and looks delicious! I have yet to cook with celery root - I really need to try it soon though. And get more quinoa! :)