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
- 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
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.
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.
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)
Dorie Greenspan, Around My French Table
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Mike V @ DadCooksDinner says
Thanks for the microwave trick - I'll have to try it out!
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.