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Smashed Potatoes and Celery Root with Chives

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Excerpt from: The Locavore Way Discover and Enjoy the Pleasures of Locally Grown Food, by Amy Cotler


The combination of potatoes and celery root (a knobby root also called celeriac) is a satisfying culinary classic. If you can't find celery root, feel free to replace it with your favorite root veggies, such as sweet parsnips and/or tangy turnips, along with a couple of peeled garlic cloves - all will yield excellent results. I've used traditional russet potatoes here, but use whatever potatoes you like, leaving the skins on if they are tender. This recipe is adapted from my first book, One-Pot Vegetarian Dishes. (This is a fall shoulder- or dormant-season recipe.)


3 pounds baking potatoes (about 6), such as russet, peeled and cut into ⅛-inch pieces
1 small celery root (about 1 pound), peeled well and cut into ½-inch pieces
¼ cup butter, or more, melted
About ½ cup milk, chicken broth, or vegetable broth, or more if needed
Generous amount of salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons or more chopped chives, scallion greens, or fresh parsley



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From the Organic Authority Files

  1. 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 and cook until the vegetables are soft, about 25 minutes, stirring once.
  2. In a large bowl or right in the pot, use a potato masher to smash the potatoes and celery root, adding about 2 tablespoons of the butter and stirring in milk to reach the desired level of moisture. If you don't have a masher, fear not - you can make do with a large spoon or a 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, blend until smooth.)
  3. Mound the vegetables into a warm serving dish. Drizzle with the remaining butter and sprinkle with chives. Serve immediately.

Local food improvisations: See variations with other root vegetables, above. If you adore the flavor of chives, mix an extra 2 tablespoons into the smash. Or drizzle the finished dish with pretty green chive butter (recipe follows) and chives. If you like garlic, add 5 peeled garlic cloves to the cooking vegetables.

Chive Butter: To make chive butter, blend chives and melted butter in a blender. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve, and drizzle it over vegetables. Sprinkle the dish with reserved chopped chives. (Also try chopped fresh parsley or dill instead of chives.)

Used with permission from Storey Publishing, LLC, and Amy Cotler. Copyright 2009.

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