No-Noodle Asian Noodle Salad

I’ve always been intimidated by celery root (or celeriac, as it’s sometimes called). It’s ungainly exterior supposedly hides an incredibly versatile ingredient – raw or cooked, added to soups or mashed potatoes. But I’m proud to say, I finally took the plunge and picked some up at the local farmer’s market over the weekend.

Of course, impulse produce shopping when you have no prior experience cooking said ingredient leads to pulling cooking books off shelves and browsing blogs in search of something to do with it. Since Monterey is unseasonably warm right now, I decided to stick with a spring/summer preparation, and found inspiration in this recipe.

Of course, I made a few tweaks to the recipe above, largely with the proportions in the dressing – I added a little more soy sauce as well as some lemon juice. Fair warning: the recipe as written below makes 5-7 generous servings, so feel free to cut the listed amounts in half if you’d rather not commit to quite so much of this tasty salad.

Ingredients

2 large celery roots

7 large carrots

1.5 – 1.75 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs

1 cup basil

4 large cloves garlic

1 inch fresh ginger root

6 tbsp white vinegar

6 tbsp toasted sesame oil

4 tbsp soy sauce

3 tbsp maple syrup

1.5 tbsp lemon juice

Directions

Bring 6 cups of water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and add the chicken thighs. Cover and cook until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165. about 15-20 minutes. Set chicken aside to cool for another 15-20 minutes.

As the chicken cooks, peel the celery root and remove the very top and bottom of each carrot. Using a mandolin, food processor, or sharp knife cut the celery root and carrots into thick julienned pieces. Add the celery root to a medium-large bowl and the carrots to a very large bowl. Shred basil and add to the bowl with the carrots. Set both bowls aside while you prepare the dressing.

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Peel and dice garlic, then peel and grate ginger. Add to a small bowl with the white vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, maple syrup, and lemon juice. Whisk to combine.

Once chicken has cooled, thinly shred and add to the bowl with the carrots.

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One third at a time, add the celery root and mix to combine. Once all of the celery root has been added, pour the dressing over the salad and stir to fully incorporate before serving.

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