Gnarly, dude. That’s the expression that comes to mind when I think of celery root. It really is rather gnarly—a big bulbous root vegetable, often tangled with twisted daughter roots. It can also be challenging to prep, given the said tangled roots and the fact that it tends to be hard, butternut squash hard, to cut. That said, it is one of the most lovely things to eat. Raw, it’s delightful in salads. Cooked, it sweetens, and tastes a little like a parsnip that fell in with some celery ribs. It is often mashed and mixed with mashed potatoes, but I enjoy it all on its own, mashed with some butter and milk or cream. It’s a perfect side for lamb, steak, or chicken.
- 2 pounds celery root
- 1/2 cup milk or cream
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Salt to taste
- Chopped celery root leaves, for garnish (optional)
1 Bring a large pot of salted water to a simmer (1 Tbsp of salt for every 2 quarts of water) while you peel the celery roots with a knife. Cut the celery roots into 1-inch pieces and boil for 25-30 minutes, until soft
2 Drain the celery roots, return them to the pot to the stovetop on low. Let the celery roots steam for a minute or to, shaking the pan a bit to prevent sticking.
3 Add the milk or cream, butter and a generous pinch of salt and mash with a potato masher until it is as smooth as you like it. Add salt to taste and garnish with the celery root leaves, if using.