Celeriac is one of those ingredients people often don’t know what to do with, other than perhaps chop it into a stew/casserole, the same way you would use a swede
It is a fairly sweet-tasting root vegetable and lends itself very well to being served as a purée, particularly with a very strong-tasting meat such as lamb or beef
I made a celeriac purée a long time ago and, inspired by seeing Michelin-starred Chef Raymond Blanc making celeriac purée yesterday on TV, I adapted the recipe by adding some delicious vanilla to it.
Here is my adaptation:
- 1 celeriac, peeled (use a large knife, not a potato peeler) and chopped into approx. 1.5cm dice
- Enough milk (use semi-skimmed or whole milk for a creamier taste) to cover the chopped celeriac in a saucepan
- 1-2tsp good quality vanilla extract, to taste (I like to use Dr Oetker Select Vanilla Extract with Seeds, but any good quality extract would work – the one I use is sweetened, so add a little sugar if yours isn’t)
- About a tablespoon of lightly salted butter (adjust quantities to taste)
Once you have peeled and chopped the celeriac, place it in a saucepan and cover it with milk.
Turn the heat on low and bring it to a gentle simmer, then let it simmer for approximately 20 minutes, until the celeriac is cooked through.
Drain using a colander or sieve, but retain the milk for now.
Let the celeriac drain and the steam evaporate for a few minutes, then place the celeriac in a food processor and blitz it until it’s creamy, adding a little of the cooking milk as you go along. You can add a drop of double cream for extra richness, if you’d like.
Transfer the celeriac purée into a fresh saucepan on a low heat, stirring to ensure it doesn’t stick and burn, while you heat the butter in a separate pan, on a high heat, until it turns to beurre noisette (essentially ‘hazelnut butter’ – a slightly burnt butter).
Stir the vanilla into the celeriac purée, then stir in the beurre noisette.
It shouldn’t need any additional seasoning at this point, but add salt to taste if required. Serve with your favourite meat!
I have served the celeriac purée here with:
Roast leg of lamb (with rosemary & garlic), garlic & olive oil pan-fried savoy cabbage, roast potatoes, caramelised oven-roasted chantenay carrots and lamb gravy.