I love the flavor of celery root, and think it tastes great on its own. Celery root, or celeriac, is the root that grows beneath celery stalks. Last Thanksgiving, I volunteered to bring mashed potatoes to dinner, so I incorporated a couple of traditional Yukon Golds for a more familiar flavor. Alex and I shared Thanksgiving dinner with Daniel, a friend from work, and his two young children. We were joined by his long-time friend, Jessie, and savored a non-traditional menu. Our meal did not stray from certain Thanksgiving themes – food, time spent together in the kitchen, board games and puzzles with family, and a leisurely gathering around the table for a variety of courses. With the menu, we were a little more experimental and creative. Before we arrived, Daniel spent the afternoon preparing delicious, crisp duck and a vegan pumpkin dessert. Later on, Alex and I spent time playing games and puzzling (I am a huge puzzle fan!) with Daniel’s children. Meanwhile, Daniel put the finishing touches on his signature “pink soup” (beets with vegan cream). Before dinner time, he also prepared kale chips and fresh tostones – both of which barely made it to the dinner table! Alex and I brought along rainbow carrot salad and my version of mashed potatoes. We left the table feeling satisfied, but not overly stuffed, and returned to the floor for more puzzling.
Because of dietary restrictions, I made the celery root/mashed potatoes completely vegan for Thanksgiving, but feel free to try these at home with butter and milk or cream. Next time I make this recipe, I am going to use just celery root and no potatoes. Give it a try – you might not notice the difference! Celery root tends to have a silkier texture, compared to the starchy texture of potato. The two work well in combination.
Celery Root Mashed Potatoes – serves 6 to 8
For this recipe, feel free to adjust quantities of milk and butter for your desired taste. At home, we usually add a lot of butter to Yukon Gold potatoes, but I find that I need less butter to add flavor to celery root.
You will need:
- two giant celery roots (about 1 pound)
- four Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1 pound)
- 1 – 2 T olive oil
- 1 – 1.5 C soymilk (or milk)
- 2 – 4 T vegan butter (or butter)
- salt and pepper to taste
- optional: vegetable or chicken broth to thin leftovers
- Cut off the root end of the celery first, so you have a flat surface to rest on. Slice the gnarly bumps off the root with a small knife (this is much easier than using a peeler). Cut roots into approximately 1-inch cubes for even cooking.
- Peel potatoes. Cube potatoes as well.
- Put celery root and mashed potatoes into two separate large pots, and cover with salted water. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, checking for tenderness after about 15 minutes. When both root vegetables are tender (about 15 minutes for potatoes and 20 minutes for celery root), drain water and combine celery root and potatoes into one large pot for mashing.
- Reduce heat to low. Drizzle with olive oil and mash.
- Add butter and stir to combine. Gradually add milk, one half cup at a time, until your potatoes reach desired thickness. Season with salt and pepper to taste. We usually like a lot of pepper!
- Serve warm. To reheat your mash, add leftovers to a pot over low heat, and revive with a little splash of vegetable broth, chicken broth or more milk.