A Fall Dish For the Ages
Potato, chestnut, and celery root purée is a delightful and rich side dish that combines the earthy flavors of three distinct ingredients to create a harmonious blend of textures and tastes. This velvety purée offers a unique twist to traditional mashed potatoes, introducing the nutty essence of chestnuts and the subtle, celery-infused notes from celery root.
The star of this dish is the potato, a versatile and beloved vegetable that forms the base of the purée. Potatoes contribute a creamy consistency and a mild flavor that is the perfect canvas for the more robust elements to shine. The chestnuts, with their sweet and slightly smoky undertones, add a layer of complexity to the purée. They bring a touch of elegance and a hearty richness, making the dish suitable for special occasions or as a comforting winter side.
Celery root, or celeriac, introduces a distinct earthiness and a subtle hint of celery flavor to the purée. This root vegetable complements the sweetness of the chestnuts and adds a depth that elevates the overall profile of the dish. Combining these three ingredients results in a purée that is visually appealing and a delight for the taste buds.
To prepare this purée, the potatoes, chestnuts, and celery root are boiled until tender, then mashed and blended together. Butter, cream, and seasonings are added to enhance the flavors and achieve a smooth, luxurious texture. The final result is a side dish that can stand alone or accompany various main courses, from roasted meats to vegetarian options.
Potato, chestnut, and celery root purée offer a comforting and sophisticated alternative to traditional mashed potatoes, showcasing the beauty of seasonal and complementary ingredients in a single, delectable dish.
What Is a Puree?
A purée is a food preparation made by mashing, blending, or grinding fruits, vegetables, legumes, or other foods into a smooth, creamy, and typically thick consistency. The process involves breaking down the solid components of the food into a more homogeneous and often liquid-like form. Purées can be used in various culinary applications, such as soups, sauces, baby food, desserts, and side dishes.
Common examples of purées include mashed potatoes, applesauce, tomato purée, and pumpkin purée. The method of creating a purée can vary depending on the specific ingredient and the desired end result, but it often involves using tools like blenders, food processors, or sieves to achieve a smooth texture.
Celery root, also known as celeriac, is a variety of celery cultivated for its enlarged, bulbous root rather than its stalks and leaves. While traditional celery is grown for its crisp stalks, celery root is prized for its knobby, round to oval-shaped, and rough-textured root. It belongs to the same family as celery (Apiaceae) and shares a similar flavor but with a more intense and concentrated celery taste.
Russet potatoes, also known as Idaho or baking potatoes, are a popular and widely cultivated variety. They are characterized by their brown, netted skin and white, starchy flesh. Russets are known for their versatility and are particularly favored for baking, frying, and mashing.
Chestnuts are the edible seeds of the chestnut tree (genus Castanea), a deciduous tree that produces large, sweet-tasting nuts enclosed in a prickly outer husk. Chestnuts have been consumed for centuries and play a significant role in various culinary traditions around the world.
Celery leaves are the green, leafy tops of celery stalks and are often attached to the bunch of celery sold in grocery stores. While celery stalks are commonly used in cooking and salads, celery leaves are sometimes overlooked despite having a flavorful and aromatic quality.
Potato, Chestnut and Celery Root Puree
- ¾ cup onion finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons butter unsalted
- 2 cups celery root chopped
- 3 pounds Russet potatoes about 6
- ¾ pound whole chestnuts about 2 cups - canned or vacuum-packed
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2½ cups water celery leaves for garnish
- sea salt and ground white pepper to taste
- Easy prep for this recipe. Finely chop the onion. Trim, peel, and coarsely chop the celery root or if you are using celery, slice it thinly.
- Peel the potatoes and cut them into 1-inch cubes.
- Rinse, drain, and pat dry the canned chestnuts.
- In a large saucepan, cook the onion in 1½ tablespoons of the butter over moderately low heat, stirring, until softened.
- Add the celery root, potatoes, chestnuts, chicken broth, and enough water to just cover the mixture and simmer, covered, for 15-20 minutes or until the vegetables are very tender.
- Drain the mixture while reserving the cooking liquid.
- Force the vegetables through a food mill fitted with the medium disk or a ricer into a warm bowl and stir in the remaining 1½ tablespoons butter, salt and white pepper to taste, and enough of the reserved cooking liquid to achieve the desired consistency.
- Transfer the puree to a serving dish and garnish with the celery leaves.