Serves a Crowd

Autumn Celeriac (Celery Root) Puree

October 14, 2009
3 Ratings
  • Serves 4
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. - 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

What You'll Need
  • 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • BonEllen
  • gabby
  • katrina_yeaw
  • Ms. T
    Ms. T
  • kedivine

27 Reviews

btglenn January 14, 2015
I've been making this puree combining a large celery root with a rutabaga and a small potato, and adding sour cream instead of the heavy cream. More savory than adding apple. This keeps well for several days, and leftovers can be heated in the microwave.
BonEllen December 29, 2014
Just made this after seeing the recipe in the printed cookbook. Who knew 1 celery root plus 1 potato plus 1 apple could be so delicious! Instead of warming butter and cream separately, I just put the (lactose-free soy-based) butter and (lactose-free 2%) milk in the bottom of a bowl and used the food mill to let the hot mash fall on top and melt/warm the mixture. Really, really good!
gabby November 4, 2013
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!
ortolan March 6, 2013
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!
Sonali A. March 6, 2013
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!
megan A. November 25, 2012
This recipe came out great! It was easy and delicious and my first introduction to celeriac. Love that it's healthier than mashed potatoes!
Sonali A. January 21, 2013
So glad you liked it!
katrina_yeaw November 11, 2012
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.
Sonali A. November 16, 2012
So glad you and your boyfriend liked it! I've also made this with low fat milk when I'm watching my calories.
Ms. T. September 24, 2012
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!
Sonali A. September 24, 2012
So glad you liked it! That pork loin sounds delicious- I'm going to have to try it soon!
kedivine July 11, 2012
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)!
Sonali A. September 24, 2012
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!
cheese1227 August 30, 2010
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!
ody January 10, 2010
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.
verena November 1, 2009
I think food processors over-process especially if there's potatoes involved. Food mills rock!
testkitchenette October 27, 2009
This is going to be a new addition to my Thanksgiving table, thanks for such a great recipe Sonali, and good luck!
Sonali A. October 28, 2009
Thanks for your message testkitchenette. Your roasted butternut squash puree looks delicious and I can't wait to try it out!
usha R. October 26, 2009
something different and delicious. can't wait to try cooking it
usha R. October 26, 2009
something different and delicious. can't wait to try cooking it
maggie531 October 25, 2009
Don't cook with celeriac very often, but love curry ~ seems to be a winning combination of flavors. Can't wait to try it!
[email protected] October 24, 2009
wonderful fresh tasty recipe! a winner for sure!!
[email protected] October 24, 2009
wonderful fresh tasty recipe! a winner for sure!!
TasteOfTexas October 25, 2009
Thanks so much!
TasteOfTexas October 25, 2009
Oops! Didn't mean to respond to this.
Broyals October 22, 2009
Looks delicious. Comfort food with a gourmet twist.
Broyals October 22, 2009
Looks delicious. Comfort food with a gourmet twist.