Autumn Celeriac (Celery Root) Puree

By • October 14, 2009 • 25 Comments


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Author Notes: I’ve recently discovered celeriac, also known as celery root. Although it has an unusual appearance, it has a lovely, mild celery flavor and works wonderfully pureed. The addition of the potato gives it a nice texture and the apple adds depth of flavor. Because I like to start both the celery root and potatoes in cold water and the celery root takes slightly longer to cook, I cut it into smaller pieces so that everything will finish cooking at the same time. This dish makes an excellent accompaniment to meat, poultry, or fish and is a nice alternative to traditional mashed potatoes. - SonaliSonali aka the Foodie Physician

Food52 Review: A lovely change of pace from simple mashed potatoes, this puree sings with bright, clean flavors. The celery root and apple both contribute tartness (there's even a mysterious lemony element, although no lemon is used), while the potato smoothes out any rough edges. Cream and butter make the puree luscious, so that it feels like a treat rather than a just a healthy dose of veggies. Sonali takes care with her recipe writing, adding a couple of crucial steps that really make a difference. First, instead of calling for cream and butter on their own, she has you infuse them with a bay leaf, which subtly perfumes the puree. Then, she tells you to dry out the cooked veggies over a low flame before adding the cream mixture so that the puree is thick and luscious instead of insipid and watery. Assuming that Sonali assumed we would know to do this, we peeled the potato and celeriac before chopping them. - A&MA&M

Serves 4

  • 1 medium celeriac (about 1.25 lbs), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 small Idaho potato (about 6 oz), cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Place the celeriac and potatoes in a large pot of salted, cold water. Bring to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes then add the apple. Continue to cook until all are tender, another 10-12 minutes.
  2. While vegetables are cooking, heat the cream, butter, and bay leaf in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Drain the cooked vegetables and apple and return them to the hot, dry pot. Stir them over low heat for 2 minutes until they are dry. Pass ingredients through a food mill into a large bowl. Gently stir in the hot cream and butter mixture until smooth (remove the bay leaf). Alternatively, you can puree the vegetables and apple together with the cream and butter mixture in a food processor. Season puree with salt and black pepper to taste. Serve warm.

Comments (25) Questions (0)

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6 months ago mitchlund

I made this today for dinner with my children. I modified it a bit as I was making it, picking up someone from school, and finishing off. I used whole milk instead of half and half and skipped the warming step (no time). They loved the mash. Both said it was one of the best blends they've had (and they've had a few). Thanks!

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about 1 year ago ortolan

Do you recommend making this ahead one day or day of? Just wondering about the melding of flavors versus texture, etc. I'm under the impression that it would taste better freshly made, but please let me know if not! I'm making a brisket tonight for tomorrow and want to get some other dishes out of the way if possible. Thanks!

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about 1 year ago Sonali aka the Foodie Physician

I think this purée tastes better and has a better texture when freshly made. You can make it ahead of time but you may need to add a little extra cream or milk when you heat it up to get the right texture. Good luck!

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over 1 year ago megan aubrey

This recipe came out great! It was easy and delicious and my first introduction to celeriac. Love that it's healthier than mashed potatoes!

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about 1 year ago Sonali aka the Foodie Physician

So glad you liked it!

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over 1 year ago katrina_yeaw

I made this for my boyfriends birthday along with Cowboy Rubbed Steak (Bison rather than Rib Eye) with Chocolate Stout Pan Sauce and Roasted Brussel Sprouts. I ended up substituting milk (1%) for cream and still came out wonderful. My boyfriend said her felt like he was in a farm to table restaurant.

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over 1 year ago Sonali aka the Foodie Physician

So glad you and your boyfriend liked it! I've also made this with low fat milk when I'm watching my calories.

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over 1 year ago Ms. T

Made this today for my cooking club luncheon (the theme was "apples") and it was a bit hit! It was the perfect side-kick for my cider-brined, spice-crusted pork loin with apple mostarda, and ChezSuzanne's glazed brussel sprouts with brown butter and apples...mmm, what a meal. Loved the clean and refreshing flavor of the celery root. Thanks for sharing!

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over 1 year ago Sonali aka the Foodie Physician

So glad you liked it! That pork loin sounds delicious- I'm going to have to try it soon!

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almost 2 years ago kedivine

Tried this out last night with a few alterations. Skipped the apple and potato addition and opted to boil in half chicken stock half water initially. It still turned out wonderful, though I think the potato would have done my dish a few favors in the consistency department (as would investing in a higher quality food mill)!

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over 1 year ago Sonali aka the Foodie Physician

Thanks for your comment! The potato adds a bit of starchiness to make the puree smoother and fluffier. I like the idea of using chicken stock to infuse more flavor into the dish!

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over 3 years ago cheese1227

Just made this (because I had celeriac in my CSA share and needed to use it!) and most of my family is completely hooked -- the only nay sayer doesn't like either celery or potatoes!

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over 4 years ago ody

I don't have a food mill, but recently I've started using my stand mixer for mashed-tuber dishes---I make sure to get the roots good and mushy and also pre-heat the mixer bowl with hot water (the boiling potato-water works great) so that the mash stays hot during mixing. The paddle attachment gives it the perfect texture.

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over 4 years ago verena

I think food processors over-process especially if there's potatoes involved. Food mills rock!

Stringio

over 4 years ago testkitchenette

This is going to be a new addition to my Thanksgiving table, thanks for such a great recipe Sonali, and good luck!

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over 4 years ago Sonali aka the Foodie Physician

Thanks for your message testkitchenette. Your roasted butternut squash puree looks delicious and I can't wait to try it out!

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over 4 years ago usha ruder

something different and delicious. can't wait to try cooking it

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over 4 years ago usha ruder

something different and delicious. can't wait to try cooking it

Best

over 4 years ago maggie531

Don't cook with celeriac very often, but love curry ~ seems to be a winning combination of flavors. Can't wait to try it!

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over 4 years ago TasteOfTexas

Thanks so much!

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over 4 years ago TasteOfTexas

Oops! Didn't mean to respond to this.

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over 4 years ago Broyals

Looks delicious. Comfort food with a gourmet twist.

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over 4 years ago Broyals

Looks delicious. Comfort food with a gourmet twist.