French-style potato purees are very finely processed and often incorporate copious amounts of butter, so the resulting mixture is silky smooth. In this recipe, the addition of celeriac to the potatoes creates an extra layer of flavor.
Traditionally, in classic French cooking, white sauces are seasoned with white pepper instead of black, making the finished dish appear more refined.
Make Ahead: This may be prepared up to 2 days in advance and reheated on the stove top or in the microwave. If the consistency is too thick, add milk, butter or chicken broth to thin it.
Servings: 4 - 6
- 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
- 2 pounds (1 large bulb) celeriac (celery root), peeled and cut in half and then cut into 1/2-inch slices
- 2 cups low-fat or whole milk
- Kosher salt
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- White pepper, preferably freshly ground
Combine the potatoes, celeriac and milk in a large saucepan, then fill with enough cool water so the liquid covers the vegetables by about 2 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat; season generously with salt. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, until the potatoes and celeriac are tender when pierced with a knife.
Drain the vegetables in a colander, discarding the liquid, and return them to the saucepan over medium heat. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until a floury film forms on the bottom of the saucepan.
Use a ricer, food mill or potato masher to mash the vegetables in the saucepan until smooth. Add the butter, stirring vigorously until well combined. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as needed. Serve immediately or cool to room temperature, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
Adapted from "Bon Appetit, Y'all," by Virginia Willis (Ten Speed Press, 2008).
Tested by Belle Elving.
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