Celery root, or celeriac, tastes best after the first frost, can be left in the garden to be harvested when needed, or pulled and stored for up to six months in a cool spot, writes Associate Professor Larry G. Campbell of West Virginia University Extension Service in “Rediscover Forgotten Root Crops.”
Make this savory-sweet puree of pears and the delicious root, adapted from Roots: The Definitive Compendium with more than 225 Recipes by Diane Morgan.
Celery Root Puree with Pear Anjou
(Makes 8 servings as a side dish)
- 1 large celery root, about 1 ½ pounds, trimmed, peeled, and cut into 1-inch cubes
- Kosher or fine sea salt*
- 4 Anjou pears, about 2 pounds
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- ½ cup dry vermouth
- ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream, warmed
- Freshly ground white pepper
- Fill 6-quart saucepan two-thirds full of water. Add celery root and 1 teaspoon salt, cover partially, and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat so water simmers and cook until celery root is tender when pierced with a knife, about 15 minutes. Drain celery root and return to pan. Place pan over low heat for 1 minute to evaporate any excess moisture.
- Meanwhile, using vegetable peeler, peel, halve, and core pears and cut into 1-inch chunks. In large frying pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add pears and ½ teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until pears are soft, about 5 minutes. Add vermouth and nutmeg and continue cooking until pears are very soft and sauce thickens, about 5 minutes more. Remove pan from heat.
- In food processor, combine half each of celery root, pears, and cream and process until completely smooth. Transfer purée to warmed serving bowl. Repeat with remaining celery root, pears, and cream and add to bowl. Season with salt and white pepper.
- Serve immediately or keep warm in top of double boiler or cover and rewarm in microwave oven.
Total fat: 10.7 grams
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Carbohydrate: 26.5 grams
Fiber: 4.5 grams
Protein: 1.6 grams
Sodium: 92 milligrams
*Due to its larger crystal size, a single teaspoon of Kosher salt contains less sodium than a teaspoon of table salt, which is a finer grain texture. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommendation for sodium intake is 2300 milligrams or less per day, the equivalent of 1 teaspoon of table salt.
Recipe adapted from Roots by Diane Morgan. Photographs by Antonis Achilleos. (Chronicle; October 2012; $40.00/Hardcover: ISBN-13: 978-0811878371). Chroniclebooks.com.