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. - Sonali —Sonali aka the Foodie Physician
Test Kitchen Notes
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&M —The Editors
medium celeriac (about 1.25 lbs), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
small Idaho potato (about 6 oz), cut into 1-inch pieces
Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch pieces
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.
While vegetables are cooking, heat the cream, butter, and bay leaf in a small saucepan over medium heat.
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.