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The Earthbound Cook
by Myra Goodman

Celeriac, or celery root as it is also known, is a homely gnarled root that is prized in Europe but little known in this country. It tastes like a cross between parsley and celery. Despite its name, it is not the root of common stalk celery; rather, it is cultivated from a special variety of celery. Celeriac is delicious both raw and cooked, imparting a refreshing clean flavor to salads, soups, and stews. Serve it with roasted meat and poultry, as either a vegetable side or as a substitute for potatoes. Partner it with potatoes, as in this recipe, for a wonderful combination.
Serves 6


• 2 pounds celeriac, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 4½ cups)
• 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces (about 4½ cups)
• Salt
• 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, at room temperature
• 1/4 cup heavy (whipping) cream
• Freshly ground black pepper
• Sweet paprika, for garnish (optional)


1. Place the celeriac and potatoes in a large pot. Add 1 teaspoon salt and enough water to cover them by 1 inch. Bring to a boil, covered, over high heat. Then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the vegetables are fork-tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

2. Drain the celeriac and potatoes, reserving about 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Return the vegetables to the pot and place it over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes to dry them a bit.

3. Remove the pot from the heat and add the butter. Mash with a potato masher, adding the cream and as much of the reserved cooking liquid as needed to obtain the desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

4. If necessary, reheat the mash over low heat. Serve hot, sprinkled with the paprika if desired.

TIP: Once peeled or cut, the flesh of a potato can discolor. The speed with which this occurs varies with variety, but discoloration doesn't affect the taste of the potato. To prevent this from happening, you can immerse peeled or cut potatoes in a bowl of ice water for up to 2 hours until you are ready to cook them.


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