Skip to main content

Get instant access to everything. 2-Week Free Trial

Make 2021 the year of “Why not?” in the kitchen with Digital All Access. Get all our recipes, videos, and up-to-date ratings and cook anything with confidence.

Get Free Access ▸

Consider Celery Root

By Julia Collin Davison Published

An earthy, buttery puree brings elegance—and intrigue—to your holiday table.

I adore celery root. Its ivory flesh cooks up earthy and nutty-sweet, with celery‑like undertones (celery root is the same plant species as stalk celery but a different variety grown for its roots) and a light texture. Puree the cooked root with touches of butter and cream, and you’ve got a dish that’s neutral enough to stand in for mashed potatoes yet still offers plenty of personality.

Working with peeled chunks of celery root, I found that braising them in small amounts of water and butter produced the purest taste. And yet I soon found myself in a conundrum: It took 45 minutes for the pieces to turn fully tender, but cooking times longer than 30 minutes produced less celery flavor and more slightly cabbagey sourness. I needed to cook the root as quickly as possible.

How to Peel Celery Root

  • Celery root has thick, knobby skin that can be removed with a chef’s knife after you’ve trimmed off the top and bottom. Cut down around the sides of the vegetable, working from top to bottom and angling the knife as needed.

Small pieces would soften faster, so I used the food processor to blitz the large, dense chunks into tiny bits. I also added a touch of baking soda to the cooking water, because an alkaline environment would help the root break down. Indeed, after just 15 minutes, the mixture had cooked into a mush that I processed with a pour of heavy cream.

The flavor of the puree was delightful, with a mellow vegetal backbone, but since celery root contains only 5 or 6 percent starch, the consistency was loose. Many recipes call for thickening the puree with potato, and sure enough, half a starchy russet provided just enough body. Finally, a couple savory, herb-forward toppings gave the simple dish holiday pizzazz.

Recipe Celery Root Puree

An earthy, buttery puree brings elegance—and intrigue—to your holiday table.

Leave a comment and join the conversation!

0 Comments
Read & post comments with a free account
Join the conversation with our community of home cooks, test cooks, and editors.
First Name is Required
Last Name is Required
Email Address is Required
How we use your email?
Password is Required
JC
JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.