You miss potatoes on your low carb diet? I definitely do! So I do cheat and eat them every once in a while. Yet, there is help! For me, the closest to the real thing are these yummy fried celeriac ‘potatoes’. Made from the celeriac root and using the same spices as I’d use for fried potatoes, I can really indulge them as a side dish, or even solo with a salad and a delicious dip. And the best thing – this low carb ‘potato’ fix is easy to make and has a shorter frying time than real fried potatoes!
It’s also perfectly suited to this season. Celeriac is popular in Eastern and Northern European regions as a winter root vegetable. In Germany, it is traditionally used in soups and stews. In supermarkets, you can by soup-making-sets of vegetables bundled together: leek, carrots, curly parsley and half a celeriac knob. As a child, I disliked celeriac more than any other vegetable bar Brussels sprouts. I had to grow up to appreciate its mild taste. And by frying it, this humble root develops a whole new flavour, enhanced by salt and a few spices. So it’s a great potato replacement, minus the starch. It even almost looks like it. Seriously!
A word about celeriac 🥔
As far as roots are concerned, celeriac on their low carb end, as it has only 5.9 grams of carbs per 100 grams of cooked vegetable. It is high on fiber and loaded with vitamins and minerals that offer impressive health benefits. For example, it contains generous amounts of vitamins B6, C and K, as well as the minerals potassium and phosphorus. The latter cooperates with calcium and other nutrients to build healthy bones and teeth.
Celeriac is closely related to celery, parsley and parsnips. Here in Germany, the roots are sold without the leaves – but when you get the chance to see it with leaves, you will note that they they look similar to the leaves of celery, and also resemble parsley leaves.
The root itself doesn’t necessary look incredibly tasty, but rather similar to a misshapen turnip, with a rough, knobby surface covered in tiny rootlets. Don’t allow this appearance to put you off! Celeriac is a great vegetable – used a lot in soups or for making stock. And now, it is also fried like potatoes. Ready?
Apart from the celeriac, you only need a handful of other ingredients: Rapeseed or olive oil for frying, salt and, for spicing things up, some whole cumin and paprika powder.
One knob of celeriac typically measures about 4–5 inches (10–13 cm) in diameter and weighs around 1–2 pounds (450–900 grams). That’s the size usually available at the supermarket. From the organic farm where we source our veggies, we receive much smaller yet incredibly fresh knobs (see image below), so I use several of those for making this recipe. For two people, I recommend half a knob of the larger variety, probably about 200-250 grams per person.
For getting started, you basically just peel the root, clean it thoroughly and chop it into cubes of a little under 2 centimeters sidelength. It’s really flexible. Just, the larger the pieces, the longer the frying time will be.
Then, heat a non-stick pan and add 2 tablespoons of rapeseed or olive oil. Don’t be stingy – it’s like with fried potatoes: They are tastier when you use a little bit more oil. If using high quality oil, this is healthy as well so no worries! Once the oil is hot, add a teaspoon of whole cumin and smoked paprika powder and stir until the pan emits the spices’ scent.
Add the celeriac and stir vigorously, so that all pieces are coated with oil and spice. Season with half a teaspoon of salt and stir again. Fry until your celeriac pieces are golden brown and well cooked but still slightly crunchy. That should take you 15-20 minutes. Keep stirring occasionally. Taste to see if you need more salt. That’s it!
Serve your fried celeriac potatoes with any protein – such as roasted salmon or my oven baked garlic shrimps, or a steak. And serve a fresh salad alongside, such as plain garden greens with vinaigrette or my bowl of crunchy chicory with red pepper and mozzarella. Chicory is also well available in winter.
I also love eating fried celeriac ‘potatoes’ with a rich, flavourful dip or some yogurt. For a quick and simple dip fix, mix 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt with a tablespoon of good quality mayonnaise, chopped herbs such as parsley or dill and add a bit of salt, pepper and a splash of lemon juice. For how to make your own full-fat yogurt, you can check my home made yogurt post.
And now, enjoy your fried ‘potatoes’ and your day!
Perfect replacement for potatoes! Make these yummy low carb fried celeriac ‘potatoes’ as a side for just about any protein, and serve it all with a fresh salad and a dip.
Check out more details about how to make this recipe above in my post.
For 2 servings:
500g celeriac root
1 tsp whole cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika powder
1/2 tsp sea salt and more to taste
2 tbsp rapeseed or olive oil
For optional yogurt dip:
1/2 cup full-fat natural yogurt
1 tbsp good quality mayonnaise
1–2 tbsp chopped fresh herbs such as parsley or dill
splash of lemon juice
salt and black pepper from the mill, to taste
- Peel the root, clean it thoroughly and chop it into cubes of a little under 2 centimeters sidelength.
- Heat a non-stick pan and add 2 tbps rapeseed or olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add cumin and smoked paprika powder and stir until the pan emits the spices’ scent.
- Add the celeriac and stir vigorously so that all pieces are coated with oil and spice. Season with half a teaspoon of salt and stir again. Keep the pieces in the pan until your celeriac piece are golden brown and well cooked but still slightly crunchy. That should take you 15-20 minutes. Keep stirring occasionally. Taste to see if you need more salt and serve.
- For a bowl of the optional yogurt dip: Stir yogurt with mayonnaise until smooth. Add chopped herbs, a bit of salt, pepper and finally a splash of lemon juice. Mix everything well and serve.
For how to make your own full-fat yogurt, you can check my home made yogurt post.
- Category: low carb basics and sides
- Method: chop and fry
- Cuisine: Northern European