Sunday, March 20, 2011

Celery Root: the vegetable that looks like a brain.



Posted by Lyndi

 I have always been intrigued by the humble celery root, also known as celeriac.  No, it’s not the root of the common celery.  It’s grown for its root... and not for its leaves and stems.

Okay, let’s celebrate it’s root, shall we?

I’ve only purchased a celery root once before.  Not quite sure what to do with it, I cut it up and steamed it.  I treated it like a turnip. It was okay.  Not great, okay.

Which wasn’t good enough for me.  Would it be for you?  Nope… I was bound and determined to find a way to utilize this intriguing little gem of a vegetable.  I must, for the greater good of humanity!

Okay, okay.  Chill out Lyndi.  It’s just a vegetable.

But it’s more than a vegetable.  It’s celeriac.  I mean, take a look at that picture again.  HOW INTRIGUING IS THAT?!!

And then it happened.

I found THE. PERFECT. RECIPE.  And yes, you have to try it yourself.  It’s over-the-top rockin’.  And I found this recipe while reading a cute innocent memoir (and bestseller) called Lunch in Paris, A Love Story, with Recipes.  I figured since it was a French recipe, it’s got to be good.  Right?

Oui!

Here’s the recipe.  Just slice away the outside (my peeler wasn’t strong enough) and follow the instructions.  It will rock your world.



POTATO AND CELERY ROOT MASH
Puree de Celeri

Ingredients

2 pounds (4 medium) potatoes, scrubbed and chopped into 1-inch cubes (I used Yukon golds)
2 ½ - 3 pounds celery root (1 large or two small), peeled and chopped into 1 inch cubes
2-3 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Fill a stockpot with cold, lightly salted water.  Add the potatoes and bring to a boil.  Add the celery root and continue to boil until both are tender, 20 to 30 minutes.  Drain well.

Return the celery root and potatoes to the pot, and over a very low flame, mash the two together.  (The heat will help evaporate any water left in the celery root.)  Aim for a chunky consistency.  This is a rustic puree, so there’s no need to get OCD about the lumps.  Add butter, salt, and pepper to taste.  Serve at once or put in a gratin dish, dot with additional butter, and pass for a minute or two under the broiler.

Serves 4



So, where you can purchase this little root gem?  I found them at the Pinnacle Station Market in Rogers for $3.79 each.  If you live in Washington County, you can find them at Ozark Natural Foods, too!



Mostly, I just hope you have the chance to taste a celery root.  I am quite smitten and I know now that I can never go back.  Does it taste like common celery?  Yes, only it has more depth.  It gives a rustic dimension.  You know how a shallot will add more depth than an onion.  That's what celery root is.  It's celery to the tenth power.

My mashed potatoes will never be the same again without some added to it.

If you use celeriac in a favorite recipe, please let me know about it!  

2 comments:

  1. ... i really do recommend you incorporate it into your mashed potatoes for your 1st experience!

    ReplyDelete

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