I know quite a few people who don’t like change. I understand. Change is hard.
Change is all we have, however.
Let me make this clear: I love mashed potatoes more than the average person. I love the buttery whipped softness against the lips. In fact, I have such a devotion to mashed potatoes that I once fooled my five-year-old brother into thinking I had handed him a big bowl of vanilla ice cream. Instead, I had given him mashed potatoes. That didn’t go so well. How did I think that was going to work? (And I’m still sorry, Andy.)
That may have been too abrupt a change.
A little change is good. A slight shift. Maybe serving mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving that taste a little bit different?
If you’re in the mood for layers of flavors besides just potatoes? We think you’ll like this parsnip-celery root puree.
This dish is from our cookbook, Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef. We’re working hard on our next cookbook, making several new meals a day, even this week before the big holiday. It’s easy for us to put all our focus on the new work. However, every time I open up our first cookbook, I see something that makes me proud. Even more than that, it make me want to move into the kitchen and start cooking.
We hope you might want to take another look at it too.
So make a change. A small change. Add some parsnips and celery root to your mashed potatoes. You might be surprised with the happiness you make.
PARSNIP-CELERY ROOT PUREE, , from Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef: A Love Story with 100 Tempting Recipes
Danny made this again a few weeks ago, on Sunday with a house full of friends. I needed a photograph for this post, in case you might want to make this for Thanksgiving. After I had found the light and snapped a few, we put this bowl down in front of our friends, along with a few spoons. That puree was gone in three minutes.
We used cream in the original recipe but Danny made this batch with milk. It turned out beautifully so feel free to choose whichever works best for you.
The puree has a small vegetal sweetness, a honeyed mellow richness, and a slight peppery taste from the celery root. (Think of celery there’s a tiny unexpected bite in there.) Mostly, it’s smooth potato puree with a new complexity. The same old thing can get boring after awhile. Liven things up a bit.
3 large Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
5 tablespoons salt
2 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 large celery root, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup heavy cream (or 1 cup milk, if you prefer)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
Boiling the potatoes. Place the potatoes and 3 tablespoons of the salt into a large pot of cold water. Bring to a boil. Cook until the potatoes are fork-tender, about 30 minutes. Drain.
Cooking the parsnips and celery root. Simultaneously, bring another large pot of water with the remaining 2 tablespoons of salt to a boil. Throw in the parsnips and celery root and cook until they are fork-tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain the parsnips and celery root and put them in a food processor. Whirl until the puree is smooth. You might have to add a bit of water or a smidge of cream to allow the vegetables to puree fully.
Making the puree. Push the tender potatoes through a fine-mesh sieve with the back of a ramekin or a large wooden spoon. (If you own a ricer, use it here.) Combine the potatoes with the parsnip and celery root puree.
Finishing the puree. Bring the cream to a boil in a large saucepan on medium-high heat. Stir the butter into the puree, then the hot cream. (You might not need all of the cream.) Taste the puree, then season with salt and pepper.