Celery root and celery are not the same things… just to make that clear. Genetically they are similar, with similar tastes. Clery root (or Celeriac) for me, tends to have an earthier taste common with most root vegetables, and you wouldn't use it for the same “crunch” effect like you would use raw celery.
For me, pureed celery root is my new mashed potatoes. Don’t get me wrong.. I will never turn down a big steaming bowl of buttery mashed potatoes, but for dieting or not wanting to feel so heavy on the inside after a big roast chicken meal, celery root puree is my go-to side dish.
A special thanks and shout-out to Chef Jonathan Krell of Patrono Restaurant, who reminded me of the wonders of pureed celery root when I was his Sous-Chef at the Design Appetit benefit in April. Chef Krell used pureed celery root with a Sousvide Short Ribs and it was MAGICAL! (We also won the judges choice that night ;-) . Check out Chef Krell and crew at Patrono Italian Restaurant in OKC for more of his delicious bites!
Grate it, roast it, gratins, soups, and even sliced thin with other root vegetables and a light mustard sauce, celery root makes a fantastic European-style salad. There are so may great things you use it for in your kitchen.. explore the idea!
Peeling Celeriac: Knick off the nodules on the bottom with a knife and trim the top stalk off fish with the root. Run a sharp chef’s life or paring knife around the edges to peel the root. A sturdy and well-made vegetable peeler may work, but I typically bring it out to really shave off some of the coarser parts of the root.
Celery root will oxidize after peeling or cutting like and apple or potato will do. So prevent it from browning if they're going to be hanging out exposed after prepping, do what you would do with apples and potatoes… lemon juice and water.
For the Puree:
2 large bulbs fresh Celery Root (Celeriac), trimmed and peeled.
1-quart chicken stock/vegetable stock or enough to cover the cubed pieces when cooking
a good pinch of In The Kitchen With Scotty “Cook’s Line Seasoning”
2-3 tablespoons butter (optional)
- Wash, trim and peel your celeriac. Slice and then cube into two-ish inch chunks and add to a 2-quart sauce pot. Add the chicken stock, a good pinch of Cook’s Line seasoning, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a soft simmer and cook 15-20 minutes or until the celery root is fork tender.
- Drain most of the stock (or save/freeze for soups and sauces… incredibly flavored now with the celery root) reserving a bit to help with making a smooth puree. Generally about 1/4 cup I would say.
- Pour the contents into a food processor, add the butter (you may also use a “glug” of olive oil) and process until smooth. Celery root is really fibrous in parts, so godhead and let the food processor run until you have a nice smooth finish. Taste and add Cook’s Line or salt and pepper if needed. Speaking of pepper, I really do enjoy a lot of fresh cracked black pepper with my pureed celery root. Add a little extra if you do too!
- Serve with a nice roasted chicken, turkey or even grilled flank steak! You can also Jazz the puree up anyhow you see fit… with cheese or added herbs and spice. Fresh lemon thyme or garlic chive is awesome with this! Enjoy!