Michel Guérard's Celeriac Purée

By • December 18, 2012 • 5 Comments



Author Notes: Michel Guérard discovered that a small amount of rice amps up creaminess in a puree while ensuring that none of the flavor of the vegetable -- in this case, celeriac -- is lost. Alexandra Stafford of the blog Alexandra Cooks, who tipped us off to the technique, says it also works well with any surly, fibrous root, and is especially delicious with turnips. Recipe adapted very slightly from La Cuisine Gourmande (William Morrow & Company, 1979).Genius Recipes

Serves 4

  • 3/4 pounds celeriac (celery root)
  • 1 quart milk
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup rice
  • 2 tablespoons crème fraîche or heavy cream
  1. Peel celeriac and cut into cubes. Place celeriac pieces into a saucepan and add milk, salt, and pepper.
  2. Bring the liquid to a boil over high heat, and add the rice. Stir for one minute. Lower the heat, partially cover the pan, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Once the rice and celeriac are cooked, pour them into a colander. Save their cooking liquid in a bowl.
  4. Place rice and celeriac in a blender or food processor, add 1 tablespoon of cream, and blend for 3 minutes. Add remaining cream as vegetables are being blended.
  5. To thin the purée, add a bit of the reserved cooking liquid (approximately 3/8 cup), and blend for another minute. Taste for salt and pepper. (Note: You can save and freeze any remaining cooking liquid to add to soup.)
  6. If not served immediately, keep warm in a bain marie or double boiler, or reheat over very low heat before serving.
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Comments (5) Questions (1)

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over 1 year ago Nomnomnom

Made this last night for the first time and was eagerly anticipating it. Sadly I have to say I did not enjoy the flavor or texture. The taste was too sweet and texture gloppy. Not unlike a rice pudding. Will try another variation with potato next time.

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over 1 year ago ody

I had the same issues with flavor and texture as the other commenters, and ended up with bland lumpy glop---a surprise, as genius recipes is such a great series. I like the idea of using milk and rice, though: if I try this again, I will definitely reduce the rice to a scant 1/4 cup and cook both rice and celeriac (I like to add chestnuts, too) in water for most of the process, pouring some water off to replace with whole milk at the end, immersion blend right in the pot, and forget the cream.

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over 1 year ago webbiest

I found this pretty bland and I LIKE delicate flavours. It was like rice pudding with hints of celery. If you wait to add the rice as per the recipe, the celeriac will be done long before the rice is.

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over 1 year ago 1natalplum

I made this and loved it, but next time I will cook the rice in the milk for five minutes to get it done at the same time as the celeriac. When I made as written, the rice was still a little crunchy in the puree. Also, I oversalted the milk at the beginning (oops) so I had to add one cooked, mashed russet potato to correct the seasoning. The result was wonderful, with no butter at all! I am serving it tonight with chicken braised in white wine with fennel and onions...can't wait.

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over 1 year ago Lionessg

I have always wanted to try cooking this interesting looking vegetable but wasn't sure what to serve with it. This looks simple enough not to overwhelm and enticing enough that me food curious teenage daughter will try it without worrying about her dancer's waistline! Thanks!