Celeriac, or celery root, is a wonderful replacement for pasta. It’s starchy and remains al dente, unlike other veggies such as zucchini, which tend to release more water. Celery root also has more flavor than bland noodles. Is it pasta? No. But is it a really fun way to eat a vegetable? Yes!A bonus with celeriac: when you trim and peel it, save all those scraps! Put them in a freezer bag and use them for making bone or veggies broths. They’re aromatic and flavorful.
- 1 heaping tablespoon marjoram leaves
- 1/2 bunch parsley, roughly chopped, stems and all
- Zest of 1/2 lemon
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 large cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts
- Salt, to taste
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 6 cups celery root noodles (use a spiralizer, or very slice very thinly by hand)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- A splash of water
- 1 pinch salt
Place the herbs, lemon zest and juice, garlic, hazelnuts and a pinch of salt in the blender. Blend this using the tamper on the blender to create a paste. Stream in the 1/2 cup olive oil and blend until you achieve the desired consistency.
In a wide skillet (or any wide pan with a lid), heat 1 tablespoon olive oil on medium heat until it shimmers. Add the noodles and toss them to coat in the oil. Let the pan heat up again and add a splash of water, along with a generous pinch of salt. Give the noodles a toss, then place the lid on the pan and steam the noodles. After about 2 minutes, lift the lid to toss the noodles and check for doneness. You want them to release a bit of their liquid and soften, but still retain a bit of crunch. You may need to add a touch more water and steam for another few minutes.
When the noodles are done, drain the excess liquid from the pan (if any), and spoon in 2 tablespoons of the pesto. Stir to coat each noodle, then taste for seasoning. Does it need more salt? More lemon? More pesto? Go ahead and add until it tastes good!
Divide the noodles between 2 bowls and serve.
This dish can be dressed up with gratings of your favorite hard cheese, or some additional crushed toasted hazelnuts if you like. You could even make it more of a meal by adding some chopped green olives and tuna or anchovies for a green take on puttanesca!