Celery root, a.k.a. celeriac, is a gnarly looking root vegetable, but once you get past its rough exterior, you’ll find a neutral-tasting interior with a hint of celery. For those looking to eat fewer carbs, it is popular to use it in place of some of the spuds in traditional mashed potatoes without altering the texture too much.
While I am a fan of any dish that’s a vessel for butter and cream, this recipe is not that. Instead, it showcases the celery root and lets it shine without the aid of dairy. This simple mash brightens the vegetable’s subtle taste with the addition of lemon zest and juice, and good extra-virgin olive oil adds both fat and flavor.
VEGAN CELERY ROOT MASH
- 2 pounds celery root (celeriac), peeled and cut into roughly 1-inch chunks
- Kosher salt, to taste
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
- 1 tablespoon juice plus 1 teaspoon finely grated zest from 1 lemon
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Chopped fresh celery leaves or parsley leaves, for garnish
In a medium pot, combine the celery root and a generous pinch of salt, and add enough water to cover. Place the pot on the stove, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook, skimming off any impurities that float to the top, until a fork easily slides into the celery root with little to no resistance, about 20 minutes.
Drain the celery root, return to the pot to low heat, and cook, stirring occasionally, to get rid of excess moisture, 1 to 2 minutes.
Remove from the heat and add the olive oil, lemon juice and zest. Using a potato masher, mash to reach your desired consistency, adding more oil as needed.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl, top with an extra drizzle of olive oil, a few more cracks of black pepper and the celery or parsley leaves, and serve.
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