Side dish
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Celery Root Puree

Celery root is a vegetable imagined by H.P. Lovecraft – a vegetable out of space and time, gnarled and twisted in ways that will drive men insane!

Um…sorry. I got carried away. Celery root isn’t that bad. But it does drive me insane – I get it every year in my winter CSA box, and I never know what to do with it. It looks like a bundle of roots and dirt. I was too guilty to just toss it; I would wait for it to go bad so I could throw it away guilt free…but like most root vegetables, it keeps for a very long time in the refrigerator. Who knew there was something hidden in that ball of roots worth cooking?
*My readers knew, that’s who. I asked for celery root suggestions last year, and you responded with a bunch of great ideas.

Celery root, or celeriac, is exactly what the name says – the root a celery plant. It’s not the root of the green stalks I think of as celery; celeriac is a separate variety, grown just for the big bulb of a root.

Celery root puree is similar to mashed potatoes. It has a hint of green celery flavor to go with the creamy, buttery mash. All the recipes I saw include potato with the celery root, in about a 2 to 1 celeriac to potato ratio. I don’t know why they add the potato; the starchy celery root seems to act like a potato on its own. But, I always get a pile of potatoes in my CSA along with the celery root. Using some of the potatoes up with the celery root is fine with me. I have a feeling that I’m not the only one, and that’s why potatoes are in all the recipes…

Recipe: Celery Root Puree


Adapted From: Dorie Greenspan, Around My French Table

Cooking time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds celery root, peeled and cut into 2 inch chunks
  • 1 (12 ounce) potato, peeled and cut into 2 inch chunks
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon plus 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter, cut into 1 tablespoon pieces

Directions:

1. Boil the celery root and potatoes:
Put the celery root, potatoes, water, milk, and 1 teaspoon salt in a saucepan, cover, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer covered for 30 minutes, or until the celery root is tender.

2. Puree the celery root and potatoes:
Reserve 1 cup of the liquid from the pot, then drain the vegetables. Put the vegetables back into the pot, add the butter, remaining 2 teaspoons salt, and the cup of reserved cooking liquid, and puree with a stick blender. (Or, put everything in a blender or food processor and process until smooth.) Taste and add more salt if necessary.

Notes:

Boil-overs and milk: I use a nonstick sauce pan when I make this recipe; it helps with boil-overs. The milk bubbles have a hard time getting a grip on the sides of the nonstick pan, making it hard for them to build up enough to boil over onto the stove. If you use a regular pan, keep an eye on it while bringing it to a boil.

What do you think? Questions? Other ideas for celeriac? Leave them in the comments section below.

Related Posts:

Patatas Bravas (Spanish Style Fried Potatoes)
Zucchini and Summer Squash Salad
Beating the Winter Farmers Market Blues (What do I do with Celeriac? – Good suggestions in the comments)

Adapted from:

Dorie Greenspan, Around My French Table

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2 Comments

  1. Kjalics says

    Celeriac is lovely. I microwave it briefly and then slice in half and scoop out the insides. Sorry I can’t give more explicit directions. I just do it. If you had a lot, you might try doing a sort of celeriac latkes or potato celeriac latkes. (I’ve never done this, but think it would repay investigation……..) Go wild. I’m delighted to see a post about this neglected vegetable.

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