Mashed Potatoes and Celery Root with Taleggio
In this recipe from Joshua McFadden’s Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables, celery root is combined with potatoes for a new twist on traditional mashed potatoes. It’s equally good made without the potatoes (just double the quantity of celery root), or made with goat cheese or Parmigiano-Reggiano instead of the Taleggio. If you have any truffle butter on hand, now is the time to use it.
- 3/4 lb. (375 g) celery root
- 3/4 lb. (375 g) russet or Yukon Gold potatoes
- 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) whole milk
- 6 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 fresh thyme sprigs
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 1 cup (4 oz./125 g) grated Taleggio cheese
- 1/4 cup (1 oz./30 g) dried bread crumbs
Using a sharp paring knife, cut away all the tough exterior of the celery root; if there are dark fissures remaining, cut those away, too. Cut the cleaned celery root into 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces. Peel the potatoes and cut them into 2-inch (5-cm) pieces.
Put the celery root and potatoes in a medium saucepan and add the milk, garlic, bay leaf and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, partially cover and cook until the vegetables are very tender, about 20 minutes (taking care that the milk doesn't boil over). At this point, the milk will look curdled, but don't worry.
Remove and discard the bay leaf and thyme. For a smooth texture, transfer the celery root, potato and the liquid to a food processor, add the butter and puree until smooth. For a chunkier texture, add the butter and smash the celery root with a potato masher or a wooden spoon to the degree of chunkiness you like. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed.
Preheat an oven to 400°F (200°C). Butter a 9-by-13-inch (23-by-33-cm) baking dish.
Spread the mashed potatoes and celery root in the prepared dish and sprinkle evenly with the cheese. Sprinkle with the bread crumbs. Bake until the cheese is melted and the bread crumbs are lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Let rest about 10 minutes, then serve hot. Serves 4.
Adapted from Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables, by Joshua McFadden with Martha Holmberg (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2017.