Wednesday, March 13, 2013

celeriac and parsnip puree

The more you cook, the less time you have to write and post: catch 22?

I've got two new(ish) food-related jobs, so I find myself cooking and thinking about food more (awesome!) but having less time to post and reflect on this deliciousness (not so awesome).

A few nights ago, I was flipping through Dorrie Greenspan's Around my French Table. It's the kind of cookbook that all your favourite chefs tell you to buy, over and over and over. The kind that gets shout-outs from Ina Garten and Lynn Rossetto Kasper. A woman who gets called a 'culinary guru' by the New York Times. As a side note, never read a cookbook before going to bed. Your dreams will be full of gnocchi  chasing buckwheat blini and you'll be ready to gorge on pancakes come breakfast. Back to the book - I was looking for a classic beef stew for my boyfriend, one that I could modify for myself (with mushrooms, of course).

This woman is amazing! I decided to make a celeriac puree to go along side her beef daube. If Dorrie Greenspan tells you to simmer something in milk, then discard all that milk, you do it. Even if it feels wasteful and strange. And then you will find yourself licking every last bit of celeriac puree off your food processor, smiling because it's so freaking delicious.

(Here it is, with a rich mushroom stew, and my cat Pipi stealing into the frame, because she thinks I made it just for her.)

Celeriac and Parsnip Puree
From Around my French Table, by Dorrie Greenspan. I added parsnips, but you could omit them (and double the celeriac instead).

3 cups milk
3 cups water
1 tbsp sea salt
2 large celeriac roots OR 1 celeriac and two medium parsnips, peeled and cut in 2 inch cubes
1 medium russet potato, peeled and cut in 2 inch cubes
1 onion, peeled and quartered
5 tbsp butter
salt + pepper
chopped fresh chives (optional)

Bring milk and water to a boil in a large pot. Add celeriac, parsnip (if using), potato and onion. Return to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook, uncovered for 30 minutes, until veg are tender.

Drain and discard cooking liquid. Puree vegetables and butter in a food processor, possibly in batches, if your food processor is as frustratingly small as mine. Season with salt and pepper, and serve sprinkled with fresh chives.

This would be delicious with any rich hearty stew - I suggest Dorie Greenspan's Beef Daube. I made it, as well as a veggie version by substituting mushrooms for the beef and bacon. You'll probably need two bottles of red wine, not just the one called for in the recipe - because what goes better with a rich, warm dinner than a bottle of wine?


  1. Hey Monica,

    I stumbled upon your blog a while back and it is a pleasure to read the words of such a food-lover! As I write this, I have mushrooms braising in red wine and winter veg cooling from its milk bath. Thanks for the inspiration! I was certainly getting tired of winter vegetables and this mash is just what I needed. Fingers crossed we'll be writing about spring produce soon!

    1. I'm glad to be of inspiration - I've been following your blog as well, and I love all the breakfast posts! Great breakfast ideas (the best meal of the day, I think we both agree!)