Celery Root Salad with Parmesan, Toasted Walnuts and Dried Cranberries

There are some vegetables out there that do not receive the credit and attention they deserve.  Perhaps it is their prickly or gnarly exterior that causes them to be ignored.  They tend to just languish on the shelf, while shoppers take home their better-looking cousins.

Celery root or celeriac might be the leader of this gang of overlooked vegetables.   This bulbous root veggie has a rough and knotted skin that can divert even the most adventurous cook.   Recently, however, I decided to set my fear aside and buy one of these beastly vegetables.   I had serious doubts that it could turn into the beautiful salad pictured in my recipe, but I decided to give it a shot.

Peeling away the rough brown skin of the celery root revealed a beautiful white interior.   The crisp and mild celery flavored flesh did indeed make for a wonderfully light and delicious salad.  With the added crunch and sweetness from the toasted walnuts and dried cranberries, it was hard to stop ourselves from gorging on this scrumptious vegetable!   The moral of the story, as my mother always told me, is that you can’t judge a book by its cover (or a vegetable by its gnarly skin)!

Celery Root Salad with Parmesan, Toasted Walnuts and Dried Cranberries

Adapted from The San Francisco Chronicle, February 2010

The original recipe called for Manchego cheese, hazelnuts and dried cherries—which sounded delicious, but I didn’t have any of them on hand.   Next time I might try that combination, but the Parmesan, walnut and dried cranberry version was definitely a winner.  After sitting in the fridge overnight, the cranberries ended up giving the salad a pink hue.  The salad still tasted great, but to avoid the pink color serve and eat immediately.

  • ¼ cup white wine
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • 1 celery root (about 1 pound)
  • 3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced cilantro
  • ¼ cup toasted chopped walnuts
  • Salt and pepper
  • Shredded or shaved parmesan cheese

In a small pan, bring the white wine to a boil.  Remove from heat and add the dried cranberries to the wine.   Steep the cranberries in the wine for 30 minutes or so.

Peel the celery root and slice into small matchsticks.   Put the sliced celery root into a large bowl and immediately add the vinegar.  Stir to coat the celery root and allow it to marinate for 15 minutes.

Add the wine and cranberries, olive oil, cilantro, and salt and pepper to taste.  Mix well.  Before serving, top the salad with the toasted walnuts and the Parmesan.

Tasty Easy Healthy Green Recipe Ratings:

Recipe Report Card Notes About Recipe Ratings

Tasty Rating


Four Chefs (Delicious!)

Who would have thought that this beastly root vegetable could be so delicious?

Easy Rating


Four Easy Chairs (“ABC, Easy as 123…”)

Once you get past the fear of buying a celery root, this salad comes together pretty quickly.

Healthy Rating


Five Apples (My Body is My Temple!)

This salad is full of veggies and pretty low in calories and fat.

Green Rating


Four Leaves (Mother Earth Approved)

The celery root was local and organic and a number of the other ingredients were organic.
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