This salad, taken from The German-Jewish Cookbook, is earthy and crunchy. The medley of roots—beet and celery—take nicely to the freshness of the watercress, although the recipe allows for the substitution of another bitter green like arugula or dandelion. This bright salad is a welcome accompaniment to fish or poultry, almost like a break fast slaw. —Gabrielle Rossmer Gropman and Sonya Gropman
beets (about 3 medium)
celery root (about 2 medium)
kosher salt, or to taste
A few grinds of white or black pepper
white wine or cider vinegar
raw egg yolk (optional)
neutral-flavored or olive oil
finely chopped chives or scallions
In This Recipe
Wash and dry the watercress. Remove the stems, tear or cut into bite-size pieces, and set aside.
Wash the beets and celery root and trim off the ends. Cut in half or quarters. Place in a steamer over a few inches of boiling water, cover tightly, and steam over medium heat until tender when pierced with a fork. The celery root will take about 20 minutes and the beets about 35 minutes. Remove the pot from the stove and uncover. When the vegetables are cool enough to handle, peel them with a sharp paring knife, removing any bad spots. Julienne the vegetables by cutting them into ¼-inch slices. Stack the slices, and cut again into ¼-inch slices. Cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces. Place the cut pieces in a serving bowl.
Mash the hard-boiled egg in a small bowl. Set aside.
Combine the mustard, salt, pepper, and vinegar in a small bowl. Whisk in the raw egg, if desired, then the oil. Add the mashed egg. Pour the dressing over the root vegetables and gently toss to distribute the dressing evenly.
Add the watercress to the root vegetables, tossing to coat with the dressing. Sprinkle the chopped herbs on top as a garnish.