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Celeriac Smash
Jan 13th, 2007



I've sampled several different celery root (celeriac) preparatations over the past year due to the increased popularity of this root vegetable, and I've liked all of them but fell in love with none - until now. This simple recipe is from The Healthy Hedonist, a book I've raved out before on the site. It's really quick to prepare, the proportions are adaptable depending on your carb needs or taste, and I have to admit to licking the bowl clean.

The original recipe designates Red Bliss potatoes, but I used Yellow Finn which have a fabulously creamy texture and I think any thin-skinned boiling potato would work just fine. The completed dish has a complexity of taste that reminds me of eating something seemingly simple at a good restaurant and marveling at the deep flavor. Braising the vegetables in chicken stock adds caramelization and the lemon juice lends a piquant zing. I served regular mashed potatoes alongside this smash and Jim liked mixing some of those in to give a higher proportion of potatoes to celery root. You could also make this just with the celery root if you're concerned about carb count.

I thought it was perfect just the way it was.


Celery Root and Potato Smash
serves 5 or 6

3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb celery root, cut into 1-inch pieces (3 cups)
1 lb thin-skinned potatoes, such as Red Bliss, cut into 1-inch pieces (2 cups)
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chicken stock, vegetable stock, or water
1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
1 tbsp butter, optional


Add 2 tablespoons of the oil to a large skillet and heat over medium heat. Add the celery root and potato and sprinkle with 1 1/2 tsp salt and black pepper to taste. Saute until beginning to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the stock and scrape up any brown bits stuck to the skillet.

Cover and simmer until the celery root and potatoes are tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Mash the vegetables in the skillet, stirring to soak up the pan juices. Then stir in the lemon juice and the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Taste, and add more salt, pepper, or lemon juice as desired. Stir in the butter if using and serve hot.

-Myra Kornfeld, The Healthy Hedonist
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© 2006, Kimberly Cooperrider | kymmco@excite.com