Late fall and early winter are the best seasons for celery root. The puree should be made on the day it is served; otherwise the vegetables will lose their fresh flavor.
Plus: Ultimate Thanksgiving Guide
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup fresh cranberries
2 1/2 pounds celery root (about 3), peeled and cut into large dice
2 1/2 pounds Idaho potatoes (about 6), peeled and cut into large dice
1 tablespoon coarse (kosher) salt
1 medium garlic clove
1 cup milk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
How to Make It
In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar with 1/2 cup of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for 5 minutes, then add the cranberries and lower the heat to moderate. Simmer without stirring until the cranberries pop and the syrup reduces slightly, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
In a large pot or dutch oven, combine the celery root, potatoes, coarse salt and garlic. Cover generously with cold water, bring to a boil over high heat and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well. Transfer the vegetables to a food mill or a ricer and puree, adding the milk, butter, table salt and pepper as you go along. Alternatively, mash with a potato masher.
To serve, reheat the cranberries in their syrup. Mound the puree on a platter or individual plates and make a well in the center. Spoon some of the cranberries and their syrup into the well. Serve the remaining cranberries and syrup alongside.
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