Mashed celeriac and potato
Raw celeriac (celery root) is a favorite in France used in the traditional celeri remoulade salad.But the knobby root is delicious with potatoes, simmered, and then pureed. Add warm milk infused with bay leaf and thyme, and the result is a dish of tasty mashed vegetables surprisingly subtle, elegant, and unusual.
3/4 cup whole milk, or more if necessary
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 medium heads celeriac
Generous squeeze of lemon juice
2 large russet potatoes
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut up
1. In a saucepan, heat the milk. Add the bay leaf and thyme. Remove from the heat and cover the pan. Set aside for 30 minutes. Strain and discard the bay leaf and thyme; set aside.
2. Meanwhile, peel the celeriac and cut it into 1-inch pieces. In a large bowl, combine the celeriac with water to cover and the lemon juice.
3. Peel and dice the potatoes. Drain the celeriac. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the celeriac and potatoes for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender when pierced with a fork. Drain them into a colander.
4. Using a potato ricer, work the vegetables into a bowl or mash them in a bowl until fine. Stir in the milk, adding enough to make a mixture that just holds its shape.
5. Stir in the butter, salt, and pepper. With a whisk, whip the mashed vegetables to give them a creamy texture. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like. Beatrice Peltre