Rich Celery Root Puree

Ina Garten (the Barefoot Contessa on Food Network) has a new cookbook named How Easy is That? She is not a professionally trained chef, and that is part of her appeal. She makes a point of publishing recipes which are easy to prepare. The fun ingredient in this recipe is celery root. This recipe is found on page 187 in her book.

Celery root looks ugly (like a knobby jicama), but tastes great. Be careful with the peeling process! We served this dish with roast pork tenderloin and cubed, seasoned butternut squash (seasoning per our root vegetable recipe). Ina Garten suggests serving this meal with a nice Chardonnay.

To save calories, we cut back on the heavy cream. Still tastes great!

5 pounds celery root (2 large)

2 tbsp unsalted butter

1½ cups chicken stock
1½ cups heavy cream
4 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground pepper

1. Peel the celery root with a large chef’s knife and cut each one in half. With the cut side down, cut it in ½-inch dice, removing any brown spots. Be careful—keep your fingers out of the way of the knife!

2. Melt the butter in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the celery root and sauté for 3 minutes, stirring to coat with the butter. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pan, and cook for 10 minutes. Add the chicken stock, cream, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring once, until the celery root is very tender.

3. In batches, transfer the mixture to a food processor fitted with the steel blade and purée until smooth. Return the purée to the pot and reheat gently over low heat. Check the seasonings—it should be very highly seasoned—and serve hot.

Serves 6 to 8.

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