Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Early efforts with obscure root vegetables

Okay, so I didn't actually get to my Thanksgiving menu this evening. I was in desperate need of a workout, dinner took longer than I expected it to take, and I wanted some quality time with the Suitor. Tomorrow it's leftovers for dinner, so I should have more time for Turkey Day menu planning.

I received a celery root in last week's box, and thanks to the magic of Epicurious, I didn't have much trouble finding a way to use it. This recipe, as is the case with many of the recipes I'm making lately, is particularly good for a chilly Fall meal. I don't have curry powder in my spice cupboard, so I made do with a mixture of ground cumin, ground coriander, ground ginger, and pepper--and maybe some turmeric, I can't really remember. Either way, it was delicious.

The lentils I used were the ones I had in the pantry: small French green ones (de Puy). I'm sure that brown ones would work just fine. I didn't use the butter in the celery root puree or the lentils (I didn't feel that they needed it), but on a whim, I did add it to the pan sauce. I'm not sure that it really added a whole lot, but it certainly didn't hurt. A final note: perhaps it was just my particular celery root, but I found that a) I needed to cook it longer, and b) when I put it through the food processor, I needed to add more of the milk than the recipe directed me to add.

Spiced Pork with Celery Root Purée and Lentils

From: Bon Appétit, September 2003
Yield: Makes 6 servings


  1. 2 pounds celery root (celeriac), peeled, cut into 2-inch cubes
  2. 5 cups whole milk
  3. 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
  4. 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  5. Ground white pepper
  6. 3 bacon slices, chopped
  7. 1/4 cup 1/8-inch cubes peeled carrots
  8. 1/4 cup chopped shallots
  9. 1/4 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  10. 1 1/2 cups dried lentils
  11. 3 cups water
  12. 1 teaspoon butter
  13. 1/2 cup honey
  14. 6 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  15. 1 tablespoon curry powder
  16. 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  17. 2 1/2 pounds pork tenderloins
  18. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  19. 3/4 cup low-salt chicken broth
  20. 1 tablespoon cold butter


  1. Bring celery root and milk to boil in heavy large saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered until celery root is very tender, about 20 minutes.
  2. Using slotted spoon, transfer celery root to processor.
  3. Add 1/2 cup hot milk. Puree until very smooth.
  4. Blend in butter and lemon juice. Season with salt and white pepper.
  5. Sauté bacon in medium saucepan over medium-high heat until crisp, about 3 minutes.
  6. Add carrots, shallots, and rosemary; sauté until shallots begin to soften, about 1 minute.
  7. Add lentils and 3 cups water; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered until lentils are tender and liquid has nearly evaporated, about 35 minutes.
  8. Stir in butter. Season with salt and pepper.
  9. Preheat oven to 400°F. Whisk first 4 ingredients in bowl.
  10. Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper.
  11. Heat oil in large ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add pork; sauté until brown on all sides, about 6 minutes total.
  12. Brush pork with honey mixture. Transfer skillet to oven; roast pork 10 minutes. Turn pork over and brush with honey mixture. Roast until thermometer inserted into center of pork registers 145°F, about 10 minutes longer. Transfer pork to work surface; tent with foil (temperature will increase 5 degrees).
  13. Preheat oven to 400°F. Whisk first 4 ingredients in bowl.
  14. Add broth and remaining honey mixture to same skillet. Boil over high heat until sauce is reduced to 3/4 cup, about 5 minutes. Strain sauce into small bowl. Return sauce to skillet. Whisk in butter. Season with salt and pepper.
  15. Rewarm celery root puree and lentils. Cut pork crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place 1/2 cup celery root puree in center of each of 6 plates. Using back of spoon, make indentation in puree. Spoon 1/2 cup lentils into indentation on each plate. Arrange pork slices atop lentils and drizzle with sauce.


  1. Celery root puree can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.
  2. Lentils can be mde 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.


Brave Sir Robin said...

Was the texture somewhat like mashed potatoes?

I've never had celery root. It isn't commonly available here.

Sounds good.

Brave Sir Robin said...


Check this out, yet another very interesting Collard greens recipe. I think this one is right up your alley.

Anne said...

The texture was very much like that of mashed potatoes, but a bit lighter than my potatoes usually are. I bet that it would be good with mashed potatoes instead--or perhaps mashed parsnip--but the taste would be different. Celery root's flavor, at least in my experience, is a bit brighter and clearer than that of potatoes. That is, if one can use the adjectives "bright" and "clear" with a root vegetable.

You are a walking RSS feed of collard greens recipes, aren't you? :) No collards expected in today's box (chard, kale, and mustard greens, but no collards), but I'm keeping all of these recipes in mind for when I do get some. I like the smoked turkey idea!

TBM said...

Mmmm, this sounds divine! I am loving lentils at the moment.

Bee said...

I will look for celeriac in my box. I just got the first parsnips of the season yesterday. They were absolutely covered with dirt!