My mother is the queen of quick and easy cooking and always falls back on a delicious remoulade when things need eating up. And so, without even thinking about it much (actually I was thinking about a cacao and raspberry chia recipe I am planning on trying), yesterday I started grating a celeriac from our veg box, mixing it with some tahini sauce I had leftover from the weekend, a few spoonfuls of red and black quinoa, some fresh curly parsley and crunchy walnuts and this was born: a super quick plant based remoulade worthy of even my mumma’s approval. It makes a versatile and fulfilling side for any main, particularly some chicken or barbecue recipes as summer approaches.
Celeriac is such a lovely vegetable and often overlooked due to its otherworldly appearance and dense, spongey texture. But I find that when grated it takes on a whole new character, somewhere between a swede, a carrot and a stick of normal celery – and it absorbs flavour and sauce wonderfully. Like all root vegetables, it is good for grounding and rebalancing when we feel a little too much in the clouds; here it mixes perfectly with rich tahini and tangy citrus. Walnuts make the perfect omega-filled accompaniment and some fresh, antioxidant-packed parsley adds an extra nutrient boost and some fresh green to the scene.
The calcium-rich tahini sauce is adapted from a recipe in my book and you can double or triple the quantities and keep some in the fridge for veggies, salads and general snacking. I used a red, white and black quinoa mix for some colour and variety of texture but white would work just as well – if look a little anaemic. Always be sure to buy Fair Trade and support the indigenous communities growing the grain.
Serves 2 as a side (you can double easily)
1/2 celeriac, peeled and grated
3 heaped tbsp cooked quinoa
a handful of parsley, finely chopped
a handful of walnuts, roughly chopped
2 tbsp tahini
1/4 garlic clove, crushed (optional)
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt to taste
Start by mixing the tahini sauce in a mini blender or whisking it together with a jug and fork. Since all tahinis are a little different, you may need to alter the water : tahini ratio – you want a creamy sauce that has a richness but also a little tang from the citrus. When you’re happy with it, mix as much as you want into the celeriac and massage lightly with your hands to ensure good coverage.
Next, add the quinoa and parsley, and serve immediately, garnished with walnuts. I also like a crack of black pepper on top.