Creamed celeriac mash or celery root puree, a simple and delightful lower-carb alternative to mashed potatoes.
You might consider this creamed celeriac recipe as a healthier alternative to mashed potatoes, but actually, the celery root puree is so good, you will not even think of it as an alternative to anything. You will just make it because you like it so much and it fits so well so many dishes.
What is celeriac?
It is a root vegetable, the root of the celery plant. Celery and celeriac are basically the same plants, but celeriac is purposely cultivated for its root rather than its stalks.
You will notice that if you buy large celery stalks with leaves and root attached, the root will be small. If you buy a celeriac, the vegetable will be very large and there will be no stalks or leaves attached.
Celeriac is a super common vegetable in Germany, you can buy anywhere, it is very cheap and always available. However, as I've lived in other countries as well, I know that celeriac is rather unknown/unused in other parts of the world.
For some reason the green celery sticks are “the thing” in America or the UK and, to tell you the truth, I don't understand why. They are dry and rather stick in your throat when raw, they taste weird (either raw or cooked) and have an unpleasant consistency when cooked.
Celeriac tastes like 100 times better. It has a better celery flavor, a more enjoyable texture and when turned into mash or puree, cooked in a creamy soup or added to stews, for instance, it tastes and feels so much better than celery stalks.
Can you replace celeriac with celery stalks?
You can use them interchangeably when making stock or soup, for instance. If a soup or stew recipe asks for a small piece of celeriac, you can replace that with a couple of stalks of celery and the other way around.
But you cannot replace the one with the other when making puree, salad, or other recipes that rely on the character of one of the two veggies.
You cannot replace the root with the stalks to make this recipe.
Ingredients for celery root puree
- The roots we get around here are very large most of the time, a standard one weighing about 1-1.2 kg/ 2.2-2.6 oz. before peeling.
- If those you can get are smaller, just buy a few more.
- I love to add it to any kind of mash, including potato mash. It adds a bit of tang which I absolutely love, so much I cannot even remember the last time I've mashed potatoes without adding crème fraiche, cream cheese, or sour cream.
- If you don't enjoy the tang, you can replace the creme fraiche with about 5 tablespoons double cream or 3 tablespoons full-fat cream cheese, both milder than crème fraiche.
- Sour cream would add even more tang than crème fraiche.
- I use unsalted butter (or extremely lightly salted butter) most of the time because that is the standard butter around here.
- If using salted butter all you have to do is to pay attention to seasoning at the end of the cooking process.
- I often use homemade chicken stock, because I often have it in the fridge.
- However, for a vegetarian version, feel free to use vegetable stock.
- A cube or stock paste should be fine as well. In this case, also consider the extra salt it brings and adjust the taste accordingly.
How to make creamed celeriac?
How to prepare a celery root for cooking?
- Peel the celeriac. Place the root on its side and cut the top and bottom.
- Place in on one of the cut sides and cut the peel in strips starting at the top and going down to the bottom.
- Use a small knife to remove any crevices that still contain peel and dirt.
- You can use any stalks and leaves attached to add to soups or to make stock or broth.
- You can also use the peel for making stocks. In this case, clean the root very thoroughly before you start peeling it. There is a lot of dirt attached to it, especially at the top and the bottom, really layers of dry mud sometimes. Wash and scrub the veggie very well, if you intend to use the peel.
- Once removed, the peel can be frozen and added to stocks when needed. Discard after cooking stock.
- Cut the root into thick slices.
- Cut the slices into batons and the batons into cubes.
Celeriac puree step by step:
- Place the cubed root in a saucepan. Add garlic. (1)
- Add milk and stock, you don't have to entirely cover the vegetables, the pot will be covered and they will cook in the steam.
- Bring to a gentle boil and simmer for about 20 minutes or until soft.
- Drain and reserve the liquid, you will need about ¼ cup for the mash. Use the rest of the stock to add to soup, if you like.
- Place the veggies back into the cooking pot or in a bowl. (2)
- Add some of the liquid, add less if you are using double cream instead of crème fraiche. You can add more if the mash seems too dry once everything is combined.
- Blend with an immersion blender to reach the desired consistency, you can make it as creamy as you like. (3)
- Add crème fraiche and stir well.
- Adjust the taste generously with salt and pepper. Add a little more of the cooking liquid if the celeriac mash seems too dry.
Can you reheat celeriac mash?
The leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container, they will be fine for 2-3 days. You can reheat the celery root puree in a small saucepan. Add a splash of milk when reheating and stir often.
What to serve with celeriac puree?
Well, just about anything you would serve with regular mashed potatoes. For instance, try Hungarian Goulash, White Fish Filet, Stewed Trout, Beef Tagliata, Cast-Iron Pork Tenderloin, Spicy Pork Loin, and so on.
More mash recipes:
- Cauliflower and Potato Mash
- Creamy Spinach Potato Mash
- Roasted Garlic Parmesan Mashed Potatoes
- Sweet Potato Mash
- Romanian White Bean Dip
- Fava Bean Dip
Creamed Celeriac (Celery Root Puree)
- 1 large celeriac about 1-1.2 kg/ 2.2-2.6 lbs
- 6 garlic cloves
- 125 ml/ 4.2 fl.oz/ ¼ cup vegetable or chicken stock
- 125 ml/ 4.2 fl.oz/ ¼ cup full-fat milk
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter Note 1
- 3 tablespoons crème fraiche Note 2
- fine sea salt and black pepper
- Peel and cube celeriac.
- Place in the saucepan together with the peeled garlic cloves. Add stock and milk, the vegetables don't have to be entirely covered with liquid, they will cook in the steam.
- Bring to a gentle boil and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
- Drain but reserve the liquid. Add about ¼ cup of the cooking liquid to the vegetables.
- Add butter, salt, and pepper and blend to your desire consistency.
- Stir in crème fraiche and adjust the taste generously with salt and pepper.
- You can use salted butter as well, adjust the salt amount accordingly.
- Creme fraiche can be replaced with about 5 tablespoons double cream for a milder taste. In this case, add only a little of the cooking liquid when you blend the cooked celeriac and add more as required. You can also sub crème fraiche with 3 tablespoons of full-fat cream cheese.