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.
Celery Root Mash
- 2 pounds celery root
- 1/2 cup milk or cream
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Salt to taste
- Chopped celery root leaves, for garnish (optional)
Bring a large pot of salted water to a simmer:
(1 Tbsp of salt for every 2 quarts of water).
Peel and cube the celery root, boil until soft:
While the water is coming to a boil, peel the celery roots with a knife. Cut the celery roots into 1-inch pieces.
Boil for 25-30 minutes, until soft.
Drain the pot, steam the celery root:
Drain the pot, return the celery roots to the pot to the stovetop on low. Cover and let the celery roots steam for a minute or two, shaking the pan a bit to prevent sticking.
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.
Cream of Celeriac Soup here on Simply Recipes
How to Trim Celery Root - video from Melissa Clark of The New York Times