This is such a “Beauty and the Beast” story. Celery root, aka celeriac, has such a misleading appearance. Why would anyone want to eat a root vegetable that has been referred to as a “vegetable octopus” or “rastifarian turnip”? Because, under that gnarly, hairy, wrinkled exterior, lies a delicious, creamy root. If that isn’t enough to convince you, unlike any other root vegetable, it contains only 5-6% starch, making it very low in carbohydrates.
I know I swore off creamy comfort foods last week, but now I’m back on track for the holidays, and this is low-carb, making it slightly more virtuous than pure mashed potatoes. As far as taste goes, you can add this to the top of the list of luscious root vegetable purees. I’m certain it would also be an excellent addition to a roasted vegetable dish.
But wait, there’s more. This is the time of year to pull up a jar of the dill pickles Sally wrote about last summer. Right after I brought a jar up from the basement, Charlie began to pull out some of the pickles and replace them with stalks of celery root and carrots. I protested but after just a few hours in the jar, they were excellent garnishes for Bloody Marys. Even if you aren’t making cocktails, a plate of pickled celery root, carrots and dill pickles makes a great appetizer. The lesson is don’t throw out the liquid when the pickles are gone, reuse it. I’m going to try radishes, turnips and whatever else I can think of for a quick dip in pickle juice.
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups water
1 T salt
1 large celery root , peeled and cut into 2″ pieces
1 potato, peeled and cut into 2″ pieces
1 small onion, peeled and quartered
3 T butter
Bring the milk, water and salt just to a boil, then remove from the heat. Add the celery root, potatoes and onion to the milk mixture. Bring to a boil again, then turn the heat down and simmer until tender, about 15-20 minutes.
Drain the liquid off and discard. Combine the vegetables and butter in a food processor and puree. Salt & pepper to taste. Add more butter if desired. If you want to make this ahead of time, let it cool, then refrigerate until you’re ready to use. Be prepared to be surprised at how utterly delicious this simple dish is.
Looks can be so deceiving….