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Smashed Potatoes & Celery Root with Chive Butter

Rural Intelligence Food
Knobby celery root doesn’t look like a vegetable to cuddle up to, which is why most Americans don’t cook it (and why CSA members often leave it behind when they make their pickups.) But scratch its skin for an earthy aroma that’s celery-like with a distinctive edge. When classically paired with ordinary potatoes, it elevates both vegetables, so that together they become something more than either alone. Note: If you’re a vegan or down on butter, use olive oil instead. —Amy Cotler, The Locavore Way: Discover and Enjoy the Pleasures of Locally Grown Food

Smashed Potatoes & Celery Root with Chive Butter
Serves about 6


1/3 cup butter
1/2 bunch of chives, chopped
3 pounds baking potatoes (about 6), such as russet, peeled and cut into eighths
1 small celery root (about 1 pound), peeled well and cut into ½-inch pieces
½ cup milk, chicken broth, or vegetable broth + more if needed
Freshly ground pepper

1. Melt the butter and add most of the chives and a generous pinch of salt. Reserve the extra chives and keep the butter warm over a very low flame.

2. Fill a large saucepan with about 1½ inches of water, inserting a steamer if you have one. Add potatoes and celery root. Bring the water to a boil. Cover tightly, turn down to a simmer, and cook until the vegetables are soft, about 25 minutes.

3. Drain the vegetables and place in a large bowl, preferably warm, or right in the pot. Use a potato masher to smash them, adding about 2 tablespoons of the butter, and stirring in the milk to reach the desired level of mositure. If you don’t have a masher, fear not — you can make do with a large spoon or standing mixer. Do not use a food processor, however; it will make the vegetables gummy. Season with generous amounts of salt and pepper to taste. Blend until well combined but a little lumpy. (Or if you’re a purist like my husband, blend until smooth.)

4. Mound the vegetables into the bowl or serving dish.  Drizzle with as much or as little of the chive butter as you like. Sprinkle with reserved chives. Serve immediately.

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Posted by Dan Shaw on 10/20/10 at 04:45 PM • Permalink