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Recipe: 'Rich Celery Root Puree'

Serves 6 to 8

This is the essence of simplicity, celery root enriched with chicken stock and cream so that all you taste is that fresh celery root flavor. I serve this with a simple roast pork and a bottle of full-bodied Chardonnay; I'm in heaven. You can easily make this a day in advance and reheat it before dinner.

5 pounds celery root (2 large)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
4 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Peel the celery roots with a large chef's knife and cut each one in half. With the cut side down, cut it in 1/2-inch dice, removing any brown spots. Be careful — keep your fingers out of the way of the knife!

Melt the butter in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the celery root and saute for 3 minutes, stirring to coat with the butter. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pan, and cook for 10 minutes. Add the chicken stock, cream, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring once, until the celery root is very tender.

In batches, transfer the mixture to a food processor fitted with the steel blade and puree until smooth. Return the puree to the pot and reheat gently over low heat. Check the seasonings — it should be very highly seasoned — and serve hot.

Excerpted from Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That by Ina Garten. Published by Clarkson Potter. All Rights Reserved.

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Ina Garten