Saturday, January 24, 2009

Root Veggies, Here We Come!

So I love this season for several reasons!  Besides the fact that we're hitting the hump time in the cold weather (soup soup soup!) and that you can get some seriously good, seasonal Brassica oleracea (my beloved brussels and cauliflower!), pears are coming into season, citrus and grapefruit in particular and lest we forget-- ROOT VEGGIES!

My CSA delivered me a nice set of turnips and I'm going to tell you a little cautionary tale.  I took my turnips and thought, "Well, I'd like to do something different besides just mashing them." I went onto Foodnetwork.com and found Mario Batali's recipe for Roasted Turnips.  Don't ever use it.  I wasted two pounds of perfectly good turnips on this acrid nonsense.  The paprika burns, the acid in the vinegar completely overpowers the palate and the poppy seeds get too crisp.  Just make a mash or a garlicky pan roast, like usual.

Now, the other recipe I am going to tell you about is a bit of a rip off of something I've had at 
Blossom NYC, but it is really delicious and nutritious, so I think you'll enjoy it!

The recipe in question is Celery Root puree.  It's not really so much a recipe as a super easy, super awesome mashed potato substitute with about 1/3 the calories and twice the flavor!

Celery root is gross looking, should be a little bigger than a softball and hard, but somewhat fragrant.  

Celery Root Mash

1 celery root
1 T margarine
1 tsp minced garlic
2 sprigs fresh dill
pinch white pepper
salt to taste
Soymilk to preference

Cut away all the outside gunk (you'll need to use a paring knife, your peeler won't do the job) and then cut your celery root up into about 1/2 inch thick pieces, as though you were making potatoes.  Set the root to boil for about 15 minutes, or until it slides off a fork when stabbed.  pour off the water, and in the same one, saute your garlic in margarine.  Olive oil is fine too, but that "buttery" flavor really sells the whole mashed vegetable thing.  Pull out your hand mixer, dump the root back in along with your spices (save salt and soy milk) and blend baby blend!  Once it has started reaching the consistency you crave, you should start adding soymilk to make it smoother and salt to make it tastier.  Celery root has a slightly root vegetable-y taste, but mostly tastes mildly of celery.

As pictured here, I made a bed of celery root puree, steamed some cauliflower and brussels sprouts, then popped a Holzfaller Cowgirl steak (baked) on top, and enjoyed.  It was a very satisfying meal.

1 comment:

lazysmurf said...

I don't think I have ever made turnips. I have been studying dumpling recipes and they seem to come up a lot, thanks for the tip about roasting, I probably would have tried that first