Thursday, April 9, 2009

Vegetable of the Day - Celery Root

At first glance celery root is kinda intimidating. Dirty, nubby, and huge this root supports our old friend, the celery stick. I have heard that in Turkey, the celery stalks are thrown into the gutter, while the root is prized for cooking. I think America needs to start loving this root as well.

The first time I tasted celery root it was raw. It was shaved thinly and mixed with a bit of mayo and salt at a fancy French resturant. It was the perfect foil to a rich seafood dish. I hadn't given the veggie much thought until I started my March quest of cooking with new vegetables. While exploring endive and baby turnips I found it, tucked up above the other, more mundane, veggies. I took it home and it sat in my refridgerator for 3 weeks. (Good to know! It holds up well in cold storage!) I was afraid to use it.. I had no idea what I would find when I cut it up.

Turns out, I had nothing to fear! After reading up on the internet I learned that the buttery yukon gold potato was a great companion. Armed with this knowledge, some leftover buttermilk, and a food mill I wanted to try to use I came up with this simple, totally non-scary side dish. The resulting "mashed" potato and celery root tastes rich, creamy and like butter!

It is Like Buttah! Celery Root and Yukon Potato Mash
1 celery root, peeled and cubed in 1-2 inch squares
4-5 medium yukon gold potatoes, cubed in 1-2 squares
garlic cloves, peeled. As many as you like. (I used about 10!)
1/2 buttermilk

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add veggies and garlic. Simmer until cooked through, about 15 minutes.
2. While everything cooking set up your food mill. Use the sieve with the largest holes.
3. Doing about 2-3 cups at a time spin the garlic, celery root, and potatoes through the mill into a pretty serving dish.
4. Stir in the buttermilk and serve.


  1. Jo, this looks wonderful. I, on occasion, make a celery root puree to accompany beef filet. It works well.

  2. The French like to dress it in this remoulade sauce recipe, and I saw recently where they do it with black radish as well. But personally I quite prefer it the way you'e done it here. My family is crazy for the combination - much better then regular mashed potatoes.