Forget Mashed Potatoes, This Root Vegetable Mash is the Bomb

Celery Root–Parsnip–Potato Mash. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend
Celery Root–Parsnip–Potato Mash. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend

Don’t get me wrong, I love mashed potatoes. It’s the perfect foundation for all the lovely braised meats and stews of the season. What is better than pan-seared fish with a buttery-lemony sauce perched atop a mound of smooth potato puree?

But this. This lovely trio of roots--celery root (celeriac), parsnips, and russet potatoes--brings nuance and depth to a side that can range from lumpy and bland to overwhelmingly rich (when it’s perfect though...). It feels special, and interesting.

And besides all that, it is an excellent accompaniment to braised short ribs, beef stew, braised pork, or roast chicken. Pork chops, beef tenderloin, and country-style ribs would all feel at home nestled up to this mash.

The celery root takes a bit longer to cook than the parsnips and potatoes, so I opted to do them in a separate pot. The extra dish is worth it in order to ensure that everything is cooked properly. I also liked the smoother texture of using a potato ricer, then pureeing the riced vegetables with an immersion blender.

Another great thing about this? Add a few cups of chicken stock and turn it into a delicious, warming soup for lunch! A great way to use up the leftovers, if you have any.

Ingredients for Celery Root–Parsnip–Potato Mash. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend
Ingredients for Celery Root–Parsnip–Potato Mash. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend

Recipe: Celery Root–Parsnip–Potato Mash

Serves 6 to 8

    Ingredients:
  • 1 celery root (celeriac; about 1 1/2 lb), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 lb parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream, warmed
  • 1/4 cup whole milk, warmed
  • Ground white pepper

    Instructions:
  1. In a saucepan, toss together the potatoes and parsnips. In another saucepan, add the celery root. Add enough cold water to cover the vegetables in each saucepan by 1 inch. Add a generous amount of kosher salt to each pan. Over medium-high heat, bring to a boil, then cook at a low boil, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 20 minutes for the potato-parsnips and about 30 minutes for the celery root. Drain well.

  • Using a potato ricer, press the vegetables together into one of the saucepans. Add the butter and stir until melted. Add the cream and milk and beat with a fork until creamy and smooth. If you like a smoother texture, use an immersion blender. (Alternatively, add the butter, cream, and milk to the vegetables and use a potato masher.) Add a little more milk if needed. Season to taste with additional salt and a pinch of white pepper.
  • Serve the Celery Root–Parsnip–Potato Mash. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend
    Serve the Celery Root–Parsnip–Potato Mash. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend

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