Called the ugly duckling of the vegetable world, celeriac’s warty, troll-like exterior might turn off the most adventurous eater, but in winter it’s a healthy alternative to potatoes and other starches. Also known as celery root, knob celery, and turnip-rooted celery, this root veggie’s creamy white flesh resembles that of a turnip when peeled and tastes like a blend of celery and parsley. It is also nonfat, low in calories, and a good source of dietary fiber. So why hadn’t you hear of it before? Probably because its looks aren’t its best asset.

“It is surprising that a vegetable that is so delicious, wonderfully hearty and eminently storable — and makes such a boldly verdant show in the garden — is practically unrecognized in the try-anything United States,” Jack Staub, author of 75 Remarkable Fruit Trees, Plants, & Shrubs for Your Garden told NPR.  The truth is that though it grows green and friendly looking in your garden, once you yank it out of the earth you’re left with a knobbly, rooty glob that looks like a pineapple. No worries; when peeled and cooked, this ugly duckling will turn into that great- looking swan from your favorite fairy tale in no time. Whether mashed, boiled, or French fried, celery root is a winning accompaniment with meat, seafood or vegetarian dishes. Here are 8 celeriac recipes to demystify this power veggie.

1. Celeriac Puree
Looking for the most original creamy winter puree to wow your foodie friends?  Just add heavy cream, butter, garlic, salt and pepper, and this puree will fill you up like potatoes do, but with more veggie nutrients.

Read Related: Rocking the Beet: 10 Beets Recipes that Glorify Nature’s Purple Power Veggie


2. Celeriac Salad with Parmesan, Walnuts and Parsley
Earthy, elegant and plain ol’ fun to crunch, this no-cook unique salad makes a gorgeous presentation. With a swivel blade peeler, shave thin ribbons of celeriac, then thinly slice on an angle, and dip them into lemon juice. Add big shavings parmesan and plenty of walnuts. Substitute parsley with cilantro for a Latin flavor.

3. Celeriac Gratin
With a base of shallots and two medium-sized celeriacs, julienned and arranged in a gratin dish, drive your family’s taste buds wild with this oven heated winter dish coated with good dose of cream, Dijon mustard, nutmeg, and melted Gruyere and Parmesan cheeses topped with some dainty sprigs of thyme.


4. Celeriac Mash
With just an onion, two celeriacs and two potatoes peeled and roughly cut, this perfect winter dish will accompany pork chops or salmon steaks in a harmonious way. All you’ll need is food processor to get rid of the lumps.

5. Beer Bird with Celeriac Puree
Looking to impress a certain gourmet type dinner guest you know? Get a hold of Cornish game hens, quarter up some bacon, add some spices, then two overflowing cups of your favorite beer and cook in the oven until caramelized. Then serve over a bed of hot, nutritious and mysterious celeriac puree.


6. Celeriac and Apple Soup
Three flavors in one: the Celeriac provides a nutty, subtle taste, while the Granny Smith apples gives this unforgettable soup its sweet touch, and the pancetta sprinkled on top at the end adds a layer of sinful salt. A winter must.

7. Pureed Squash, Sweet Potato and Celeriac Soup
First, roast the squash, sweet potatoes, and celeriac to bring out their natural sweetness. Then, add some fun curry and other seasonings and puree in a food processor until smooth. This incredible taste will bring any winter-weary-soul back to life.


8. Seared Duck Breast with Roasted Plums and Celeriac
Brace yourself for one of the most delectable celeriac recipes out there. This hearty bed of roasted celeriac and plum combo, with hints of orange and white wine vinegar relish, is then topped with hot and heavenly seared duck breasts infused with juniper berries, thyme, and butter.