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Dec 29, 2008 08:51 AM

What to serve with Celery Root Puree?

Am serving non-meat, non-fowl, non-game dinner (fish ok)...

Would love to serve celery root puree and another vegetable ("he"/guest tries to avoid simple carbs, and "she"/guest doesn't eat garlic or onions (otherwise, would have done mashed potatoes with roasted garlic, or caramelized onions)...

Was thinking about (a starter of golden and red beet and goat cheese terrine with pistachio shallot dressing), followed by salmon with a mustard glaze, and roasted baby brussel sprouts, (followed by a cheese course, and poached pears) but a chef friend said she didn't see that combo working. Any suggestions for what might go with the celery root puree? I'd love to serve it as it is special and a bit unusual. Many Thanks, Pamela

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  1. I think the dishes sound good separately. Serve the beets on top of a salad with the pistachio dressing instead of a terrine. That way it's not too much cheese with the cheese course. Or skip the cheese course and make the terrine with cheese or in a salad form with cheese.

    I think you could serve the salmon with the celery root puree but I don't know if I would serve brussel sprouts with it. What about wilted kale or chard?

    And I love the idea of poached pears for dessert. Light but delicious.

    4 Replies
    1. re: cheesecake17

      Cheesecake17....oh, are right about "double" courses of cheese, having it with the beet salad and as a separate course. I hadn't thought about that. Actually, I wanted to serve a salad of mache with blood orange sections, pomegranate seeds, and pistachios with a pistachio honey vinaigrette, but my husband thought the beet "tower"/terrine (layer of red chopped beets, layer of goat cheese, layer of golden chopped beets) is nicer. Think I will do the blood orange salad instead.

      Also had thought about the wilted chard or kale instead of baby brussel sprouts, but we have served it so much over the holidays, I am a bit tired of it. Definitely think it could work. Glad you think the celery root puree will work with the salmon.

      The poached pears are always a hit. I split them in half when poaching them, then serve them in a rimmed bowl with plenty of poaching liquid, scoop out the seeds with a melon baller, and fill the "hole" with marscapone mixed with a touch of sugar and lemon zest. Then top with toasted crushed hazelnuts. You can also "dress" the poaching liquid with little dots of creme anglaise. Thanks for your input!

      Thanks, also to lollya for your idea. Looking to pair it with a fish....

      1. re: PMH

        The poached pears sound amazing! Do you have a more detailed recipe? I've never poached a pear before (but I have enjoyed eating them!)

        Blood orange salad sounds delicious. It's a perfect light, crisp starter to go with the heavier salmon. Something about the brussel sprouts doesn't go though. It doesn't seem to click with the salmon for me. What about doing bok choy and mushrooms or artichokes?

        1. re: cheesecake17

          Cheesecake17: I have multiple poached pear recipes...this one is a sort of conglomeration of all of them, but mostly follows one from Bon Appetit October 2002. Play with the amount of sugar you like. Mine have a fairly high sugar content.

          Poached Pears with Marsala, Cinnamon, and Vanilla

          Makes 6 Servings
          Make 1-2 days ahead. (the flavor will deepen the longer the pears marinate). The original recipe says make at least 3 hours ahead up to 1 day. I find they are fine (even better) at 3 days.

          2 bottles dry red wine (Marsala, Cabernet, or a Ruby Port)
          5 Cups Orange Juice
          3/4 to 1 and 1/2 cup sugar (I use 1.5 cups) (I use super fine, which dissolves very quickly)
          2 cinnamon sticks
          2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise
          2 Star Anise
          2 whole cloves
          2 long strips of orange peel
          6 Bosc pears, peels, stems left intact, split vertically down the middle
          8 ounces of Marscapone Cheese
          1 Tsp. Lemon Zest
          1 TBSP sugar

          Combine wine, orange juice, sugar, cinnamon sticks, split vanilla beans, orange peels, cloves, star anise in a heavy large pot.

          Bring to boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar.

          Add peeled pears. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover pot and simmer until pears are tender, turning pears occasionally, about 40 minutes.

          Using a slotted spoon, transfer pears to platter.

          Boil poaching syrup in pot until reduced to 1 and 1/4 cup, about 12 minutes (I don't reduce it this long, so that I will have more "sauce" for the pears).

          Pour syrup over poached pears. Chill until cold, turning pears occasionally.

          Scoop out seeds from each pear using a melon baller. Leave stems attached. Divide poached pears among 6 shallow bowls. Fill each bowl with wine poaching syrup covering bottom 1/3 bowl (2/3 of pear lying flat will sit above the syrup).

          Mix marscapone with lemon zest and 1 TBSP sugar. Fill each "hole" where the seeds have been removed from the pear with the mascarpone filling.

          Chop pistachios and scatter on top of the mascarpone filling. Serve.

          P.S. So many variations in presentation...instead of splitting the pears vertically down the middle, you can slice off a thin piece from the bottom so that the pear stands upright. This also looks elegant in the bowl with the poaching syrup filling the bottom of the bowl. It is a bit harder to eat this way, however, because the pear ultimately wants to "topple" over.

          Another variation (which I've yet to make because we love this one so much) is using pear necter and white wine to poach, and then finishing it off by dipping the top of the pear in melted chocolate.....I'm determined to try this version this winter! Enjoy....Easy, but always impresses....looks and tastes elegant. Pamela

          1. re: PMH

            Thanks so much for the recipe. I'm going to split the recipe so that it makes two pears, and if my husband likes it, I'll make the full recipe when we have company over.

            Thanks again!

    2. it's not a puree, but we threw it into a curry over rice and it was amazing!

      1. Seeing as you already got mustard with salmon, add some grain mustard to the puree. Serve with the salmon on top. Should be reasonably Ok, although I wouldnt have immediately thought of this veg with fish.

        My fave way with celeriac is to thinly slice it and some potatoes and then follow a standard pommes dauphinoise recipe, layering it up with garlic and fresh thyme. Good with some simple grilled chicken

        2 Replies
        1. re: Harters

          Harters, interesting thought about adding grain mustard to the celery root puree. Something to think about. You are right, I tend to think of celery root puree with fowl or meat, but we are non-meat eaters....

          1. re: PMH

            It's a spin on the classic hors d'oeuvres "celeri-remoulade" but no mayo of course.

        2. I would pair celery root puree with something green and herby, something that would complement but not overwhelm the celery root. I'm thinking parsley, maybe a puree with olive oil. Or a little salad of arugula and olives. Including something green would also help wake things up with color on the plate.

          1. On Iron Chef American - Tomato - the challenger, Rios, used celery root puree as a base for one of his presentations. Other than the fact that it involved tomato I don't recall what else was on that dish. Maybe they'll play that again this week.