Such an underrated, misunderstood vegetable! Celery has been growing wild at least since ancient Egyptian times and has been cultivated since the Classical age, and yet it gets very little love within the culinary world. It’s usually relegated to a diet food–the “negative calorie” moniker still sticks by the stalk, where dieters believe it burns more calories chewing it than there are in the actual stalk–or as a “filler” part of a meal, from mirepoix to tuna salad. But celery is a prized vegetable for so many reasons, including its nutritional value, unique flavor, and its three different parts that are used in worldwide cuisine: the stalk, the root (celery root) and the seeds. It’s more than just a vehicle for getting your peanut butter and raisins to your mouth!
So, to celebrate a whole month of National Celery Month, head over to the border of Chinatown and the Lower East Side to The Fat Radish. It’s not a strictly vegetarian restaurant, as the title may suggest, but they do take pride in the fruits and veggies they offer, making sure all of their food is well-sourced and seasonal. The trendy eatery serves new spins on British-style dishes, including a pot pie that is filled with garlic cloves and celery root instead of leftover chicken from last night’s roast. The celery root is the real star in this dish, which is highlighted by the creamy, cheesy base and the flaky crust of the pot pie. Its unique flavor combination has landed it one of the top twelve pies to try by NY Eater back in July…and it’s not even a sweet pie! After one taste of this dish, you’ll wonder why the distinct flavor of celery isn’t showcased more often in your favorite cuisine!
The Fat Radish
17 Orchard St (between Canal St & Hester St)
“Although The Fat Radish occasionally offers meat pies as specials, this vegetarian version is always on the menu, and it’s definitely worth a try. The pastry crust is super flakey (almost like the outside of a croissant), and inside there’s a gooey mixture of celery root, garlic, and gruyere cheese.”–NY Eater
“And if that celery-root potpie could have used, say, a half-pound of ground beef amid the virtuous starch, at least it tasted sweet and buttery beneath its flaky crust. Vegetarians, if not vegans, could love it hard.”–The New York Times
Some reviews from Yelp.com:
“Next time I’m definitely ordering their CELERY ROOT POT PIE. And this is coming from someone who doesn’t even like celery root. Not your typical pot pie swimming in gravy (although I do love my gravy). The star of this dish is definitely their hearty chunks of savory root vegetables. Drooling again.”–Gina X.
“The food here is outrageously good. Every item on the menu looked fantastic, and I was ready to order it all. I exhibited some self control, though, and limited myself to the Celery Root Pot Pie. This pot pie was phenomenal. It was one of those meals where every bite I took, I was reminded of how good the dish is. There was no getting used to its brilliance.”–Kirsten S.