Mashed potato with celeriac is an easy variation on the basic mashed potato.
If you've never tried this before, I think you will love it, because mashing other vegetable with potatoes is a tasty way to add more vegetables to your diet.
The idea for embellishing my mashed potatoes comes from my time working at Aphrodite’s Organic Cafe & Pie Shop in Canada.
We used to get boxes of vegetables from the farm on a daily basis. It was whatever was ready, and in season. Each day after I arrived for work, I’d assess what we had, and then I would create the dinner specials.
One of the vegetables we used to receive in abundance was celeriac. I wasn’t familiar with it, so this gnarly-looking root was a bit of a mystery at first.
Celeriac tastes similar to celery, except the sharp celery taste is made mellow and deep by the fact that this is a root vegetable. It is not the root of celery. It is a different vegetable.
I soon learned from my mentor, David Alsop, former head chef at Tomato Fresh Food Cafe, how to work with celeriac.
Celeriac with potato is—dare I say?—even better than the original!
He used to mix celeriac, or even turnip, with potatoes, for a new version of mashed potato that is—dare I say?—better than the original.
The reason it’s better is how the celeriac adds an underlying depth of flavor, and breaks up the goopy starch tendencies of the pure potato with something relatively more fresh and light.
One the greatest things about Mashed Potato with Celeriac Root is how it makes it super easy to add celeriac to your diet.
My guess is that you don’t eat celeriac very often. I know, because it is one of those vegetables that when I arrive at the supermarket checkout, the cashier usually asks me what it is.
As a side note, celeriac is also great roasted with a bit of olive oil, added to scalloped potatoes, or blanched in boiling water and served hot, tossed with butter and a bit of salt and pepper. Thank you David!
Vegan Mushroom Gravy ... Yes!
As for the gravy, I think this is also a special recipe. I wish I could say I also learned it from my mentor, but I did not. I learned it from the New York Times.
Of course, I went and changed their recipe to make it more to my liking, but the basic idea is the same.
The base of this recipe is extra virgin olive oil, onions, and portobello mushrooms.
You caramelize these ingredients really well to build up savory flavor, and then you season with black and white pepper, salt, red wine vinegar, and fresh thyme.
It is really amazing how yummy it tastes. Simple, but a worthy substitute for meat-based gravies.
Are you ready to go gourmet for your mashed potato fix this holiday season?
Recipe For Mashed Potatoes With Celeriac Root And Vegan Mushroom Gravy
Ingredients for the Mashed Potatoes with Celeriac Root
- 4 cups Russet potatoes, chopped
- 2 cups celeriac root, chopped
- ½ cup whole milk, (for vegan, sub with plant-based milk)
- 3 tablespoons butter, (for vegan, sub with olive oil or coconut oil)
- 1 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
Ingredients for Vegan Mushroom Gravy
- ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped (¾ cup)
- 4 ounces baby portobello mushrooms, finely chopped (1 ½ cups)
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 4 to 5 cups vegetable stock, as needed
- 1 ½ tablespoons soy sauce, or more to taste
- 1 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt, or more to taste
- ½ teaspoon black pepper, or more to taste
- ⅛ teaspoon white pepper, optional
- 3 teaspoons red wine vinegar, or more to taste
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
Method for mashed potatoes with celeriac root
- Wash potatoes and celeriac. Use a peeler to remove the skins from the potato. Use a knife to cut off the skin of the celeriac. Chop your roots into 1-inch pieces.
- Place prepared potato and celeriac in a saucepan, and cover with at least 2-inches of water. Bring to a boil and simmer about 15 minutes until the vegetables are soft. To check, use a knife to pierce a potato. If it comes out easily when you lift the potato with the knife, or the potato breaks apart, the potato is soft.
- Drain off the water, retaining the roots in the saucepan. Add whole milk, butter, and salt. Mash with a potato masher until smooth. Serve immediately, with, or without, Mushroom Gravy.
Method for vegan mushroom gravy
- Heat oil in a medium saucepan on medium heat. Add onion and portobello mushrooms. Sauté until medium to dark brown, about 10 minutes.
- Add flour and stir with a wooden spoon to combine. Allow the flour to cook for a couple minutes. Add vegetable stock a little at a time, stirring in between each addition until smooth. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Add the seasonings, and continue to cook until a desired consistency is achieved. Taste and adjust final seasoning.