This salad is yet another variation on the garlic yogurt theme, this time using grated celeriac instead of let’s say, carrot or, in summer, chopped cucumber.
I had forgotten all about this version and surprised myself yesterday when I served it to friends and reminded myself of how tasty it is. Celeriac is a true seasonal friend and you see it everywhere at this time of year. The most common way of serving it is zeytinyağlı or in olive oil. This is the classic Turkish way of handling most seasonal vegetables so it becomes somewhat predictable around this time.I especially love a similar recipe that includes
I especially love a similar recipe that includes quince with the celery root: it’s a fabulous combination!
The hardest part of coping with celeriac is peeling it! It looks such a tough nut to crack but actually with a sharp knife, it’s a task soon done. You have to be quick once it’s peeled as it discolors. With this recipe, if you have your yogurt ready in a bowl, all mixed and ready to go so you can quickly combine it with the grated celeriac, rest assured, this won’t happen.
Instead of using regular yogurt, try süzme or strained yogurt. By definition, this has a much thicker consistency so doesn’t lose so much liquid if the meze isn’t to be eaten immediately. If the whey does separate, a quick stir will help the ingredients to combine once more. Adding some crushed garlic is a good idea for extra flavour. Don’t add the roughly chopped walnuts until you are about to serve the salad as there is a risk of discolouring. Make sure you don’t forget them!
- Place the strained yogurt in a bowl and stir vigorously so that it loses its stiffness and becomes smoother. Add the regular yogurt and mayonnaise, stirring well, and then the crushed garlic and salt.
- Take the grated celeriac and add to the yogurt mix. Stir until it is well combined. If not using immediately, cover with clingfilm and place in the fridge. NB this salad can be prepared the day before required.
- When ready to serve, remove from the fridge. Add the chopped walnuts and mix again.
- Arrange on a low serving dish, decorate with a few whole walnuts and parsley sprigs, and sprinkle with red pepper flakes if desired.