Celery Root and Apple Puree

27 Jan


There’s nothing better on a chilly winter day than some warm, soft, mushy comfort food. This celery root and apple puree is a nice alternative to the classic creamy mashed potato dish (although them creamy mashed potatoes are mighty good!).

The recipe comes from Ina Garten’s Back to Basics cookbook. Everything that I have made from this book has come out superb: brownie pudding amazingness, baked sweet potato fries, confetti corn salad, mustard roasted fish, spanikopita…and I’ve been eyeing and oogling over the all of the soups in this book.

I think I could eat bowls and bowls of this stuff! I love the zingyness of the apples, the fresh taste of the fennel and celery root, and the smoothness of the potato. The whole house will smell like a warm bowl of heaven.

Just before serving, garnish the dish with some fennel fronds and a sprinkle of sea salt to wow your fellow eaters.

Celery Root and Apple Puree
from Ina Garten’s Back to Basicsserves 6-8

1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup large-diced fennel bulb, tops and core removed
2 pounds celery root, peeled and 3/4 inch diced (I used 2 celery roots)
8 ounces Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and 3/4 inch diced
3 Golden Delicious apples (I used one Granny Smith in replace of 1 of the Golden Delicious), peeled, cored, and 3/4 inch diced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup good apple cider
1/4 cup heavy cream (I just used low fat milk and was very satisfied)1. Melt the butter over medium heat in a shallow stock pot or large saute pan. Add the fennel, celery root, potatoes, apples, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper. Saute the vegetables, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften, about 4 to 5 minutes (I had to use two pans because all of my veggies would not fit).

2. Add the cider and tightly cover the pot. Simmer over low heat for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are very soft. If the vegetables begin to burn or seem dry, add another few tablespoons of apple cider or some water.

3. When the vegetables are cooked, add the cream (or milk) and cook for 1 more minute.

4. Transfer the mixture to a food mill fitted with the coarsest blade and process (or you can use a food processor for smoother texture). Taste for salt and pepper and return to the pot to keep warm.

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