I hope that everyone had a lovely Christmas holiday! It’s hard to believe Friday has rolled around again already. This week’s recipe for French Fridays with Dorie is Go-With-Everything Celery Root Purée, a bland-looking side dish that’s full of surprises.
Remember Hans Christian Andersen’s story of the ugly duckling? Each time I cook with celeriac, I’m reminded of that tale. Celery root isn’t much to look at. It’s knurly with dirt stuck in its multitude of wrinkles. The small supply on offer is usually stashed in an out-of-the-way spot in the market, never proudly on display. Honestly, celeriac looks downright unpromising.
For this recipe, chunks of celery root, russet potato, and onion are simmered in a mix of milk and water. I have to say that it looked sort of revolting as the vegetables cooked. I’m not sure whether the milk is strictly necessary, but I did have it on hand. I’m curious whether anyone else cooked their vegetables in all water or a broth and water mix instead.
Once the vegetables are tender, they are drained then pureed in the food processor. Chunks of butter are added to finish the puree before seasoning with salt and white pepper.
This was the first recipe I made in my new Cuisinart. My original Cuisinart, which I’ve had for over 25 years, has been failing. I don’t like to be so attached to an inanimate object, but after we’ve made hundreds (thousands?) of recipes together, the parting is sad. I suspect you understand.
That ugly duckling celery root was transformed into a beautiful swan. The end result is a gorgeous bowl of what appears to be smooth mashed potatoes. A bite reveals something else entirely. The celeriac adds more than a hint of celery flavor for a most interesting side that goes with everything.
What did it go with at my house? I made a beef stew with a variety of root vegetables (more on that later this weekend). I served the stew over the celery root puree in wide shallow bowls for a satisfying meal on a cold winter’s night.
I don’t cook with celery root often, but each time I do, I think I should make a point of using it more.
I’m looking forward to reading about what my fellow FFwD bloggers thought about this week’s recipe. Check out their links at French Fridays with Dorie.
You can find this recipe online here, courtesy of WHYY, creator of one of my favorite public radio shows Fresh Air with Terry Gross. You can also find the recipe in Dorie Greenspan’s book Around My French Table.
I wish you all a Happy New Year! And for my Dorista friends, I look forward to continue cooking with you in 2013!