Thursday, November 19, 2009

Celery Root & Roasted Garlic Puree

Celery root is not going to win any beauty contests. It'll never be voted most popular. In fact, when I picked up a couple of these gnarly knobs at my CSA I heard several people ask "what are these?" which was inevitably followed by "what do I do with it?"

Celery root is actually a kind of misnomer. It is not the root of the much more common celery stalk. But celery root, also known as celeriac, is a member of the same family and it does have a similar flavor.

The best thing about celery root is that it's really delicious. This puree is a great alternative to mashed potatoes. It would make a luxurious side next to a holiday turkey or even perhaps, even better, as a bed for braised meat. Short ribs or lamb shank anyone?

Celery Root and Roasted Garlic Puree

2 medium celery roots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1-1/2 cups chicken broth (low sodium preferably) or vegetable broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons butter
4 cloves roasted garlic (or more or less to taste)
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Simmer celery root and broth in saucepan until tender, about 15 minutes.

2. Transfer celery root, reserving liquid, to food processor or blender and puree with cream, butter and garlic -- adding reserved broth as needed for a smooth but not too runny texture. Salt and pepper to taste.

Roasted Garlic
From Simply Recipes

1 (or more) whole heads of garlic
2 teaspoons olive oil per head of garlic

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

2. Remove the outer layers of the garlic bulb skin, leaving the skins of the individual cloves intact. Cut off 1/4 to 1/2 inch of the top of cloves with a knife to expose the individual cloves of garlic.

3. Place the garlic heads in a baking pan. Drizzle 2 teaspoons of olive oil over each head and coat well using your fingers. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake at  for 30-35 minutes (cloves should feel soft when pressed).

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