September 17, 2010

Celery root and apple puree


I'm always trying to come up with more vegetarian dishes and lately I've been trying to come up with more interesting vegetable side dishes. Celery root is a something that I have never eaten until yesterday. It's one of those things I would always look at in the grocery store and wonder what in the world I would do with it. I have seen celery root in many recipes both online and in cookbooks. I decided that when I saw them return to our grocery store this fall that I would give it a try. I am glad that I did. The taste of the celery root is just like celery stalks, but stronger. I just bought my first bag of apples for the season and had a bunch of garden fresh sage so that's what I used in this side dish. This recipe will serve about 4 people as a side dish. 

Celery root and apple puree
1 medium celery root (about 2 lbs), peeled and diced
1 medium tart/semi-tart apple, peeled and diced (I used ginger gold)
1/4 medium white onion, diced (I used Vidalia)
about 2 tablespoons milk (or cream)
1 tablespoon butter
salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
pinch of sugar (optional)
fresh sage for garnish (optional)
water for cooking

In a medium saucepan, warm the butter over low heat and add the onion and apple. Cook until just tender. You don't want to brown them (keep the heat low), you just want to soften them and sweat them out a bit. Transfer the apples and onions to a bowl. Add the celery root to the pan and add cold water until the root is just covered. Cook over medium heat until it comes to a boil. Cover and cook until fork tender (about 15 minutes, depending on the size of your dice).  Drain the water, reserving about 1/4 cup. Add the celery root, apples, onion, reserved cooking water, milk, salt, pepper to a food processor. Puree until smooth. Taste and add extra salt and pepper, if desired. Here you may also add a pinch of sugar if you want a bit more sweetness (or even a spoon full of apple sauce). Puree again and then return the mixture to the saucepan. 

Re-heat until warm, stirring often. Serve hot and top with a little fresh sage, if desired.

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