Monday, August 31, 2015

Celery Root and Sweet Potato Puree

This is such a simple recipe, but it's soooooo freaking good, I have to post it.

If you've never had celery root, otherwise known as celeriac, you're really missing out. As the name implies, it's the root of a celery plant, but it's a plant that's been bred specifically for the root - just like chard is a type of beet that's grown for its leaves.

My favorite way to eat celery root is in a puree, but it can be eaten raw or stewed or roasted, or pretty much any way you use any other root vegetable. Usually I puree the celery root along with a regular old white potato. This time though, I changed it up by using a sweet potato.

The result was interesting. The flavors mingled in a surprising way, making it taste like something totally different. Not really like sweet potato, and not entirely like celery root, either.

Celery root can be a little difficult to mash with a hand masher and sometimes it can be a little fibrous. I suggest using a stick blender or a regular blender to puree it. Since I got an early birthday present this year - a Vitamix - I used that to puree the celery root and the sweet potato and I was suitably impressed with the smoothness of the puree - like velvet!

But you can use other methods. I survived for many years without a Vitamix, and I've cooked plenty of celery root in those years.

Celery Root and Sweet Potato Puree

1 celery root
1 sweet potato
1-2 tablespoons butter, to taste
Salt and white pepper, to taste

I suggest finding a celery root and a sweet potato of about the same size, but if they're not exact, it's no big deal. This is a vegetable mash, not a chemical combination.

Peel the celery root. You're best off doing it with a knife, sort of how you remove the rind from a pineapple. Cut the celery root into approximate 1-inch cubes and place them in a saucepan with sufficient salted water to more than cover the celery root.

Peel the sweet potato and cut into cubes the same size. Add them to the pot. Make sure there's water to cover. The celery root cubes might float - don't worry about that.

Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Cook until the cubes are very tender.

Drain very well. Put the cubes in your blender (if that's what you're using) and add a tablespoon or two of butter, depending on how much you like butter. Add a pinch of salt and several grinds of white pepper. You can certainly use black pepper, but I preferred the puree without the black specks of pepper.

Puree until smooth. Taste for seasoning and add more salt, pepper, or butter, if desired.

Serve hot.
Celery root (celeriac) and sweet potato puree.