Celery Root Purée (Purée de Céleri)

December 13, 2010

Prosopography unbound. How a being so homely can morph into such a lustrous beauty. Do not be dissuaded by the cover of this root with its brownish, knotted and hairy skin, and gnarly roots.

Consider a subterranean triad of celery root, turnips and russet potatoes either simply mashed or puréed much as below—in ratios to your liking. If you opt for this, cut the celeriac and turnips in smaller cubes than the potatoes for the initial simmer. In the end, this is nothing more than root manna.

CELERIAC PUREE

4 C whole milk, warmed
3 C vegetable or chicken stock
4 plump, fresh garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
2 T sea salt

3 large celeriac bulbs (about 3 lbs), peeled and cut into 2″ cubes

8 T butter, cut into pieces
1 t white pepper
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper

A slight drizzle of white truffle oil, to taste

Bring celeriac, milk, stock, garlic, thyme, bay leaf and salt just to a boil in heavy stock pot over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until celeriac is just fork tender, about 20-30 minutes. Drain, discarding cooking liquid, garlic, thyme, and bay leaf.

Transfer celeriac to a food processor and add butter, white pepper, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper and purée in bursts until very smooth. Add a gentle drizzle of truffle oil, process a little further and season to taste.

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