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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Winter Vegetables with Celerly Root Puree

I was a little pout-y about not being able to eat fruit and starchy foods, and it was about time to snap out of it and start creating some tasty, lower carbohydrate meals. Seattle is unseasonably cold right now. The plants are just starting to bud out and our little garden is under a cloth cover, which is a good thing because we've had some frosty mornings lately. The freshest foods are still the early spring crops - arugula, kale, greens, leeks, fennel, and root vegetables.

I decided to try a celery root puree with winter vegetables yesterday. I am a garlic fanatic, so added more garlic than some people may like. The puree would be a great alfredo substitute as it is very creamy. Celery Root (celeriac) has 1/3 the carbohydrates, less than half the calories, and the same amount of fiber as potatoes. It also has a very velvety texture and lends well to purees.

Winter Vegetables with Celeriac Puree

1 celery root
4 cloves garlic
2-3 T olive oil
1/4-1/2 tsp salt
fresh ground pepper to taste
1/4+ water

Clean, peel, and dice the celery root into 1/2 inch or smaller cubes. Mince the garlic. Heat a pan over medium heat and get the olive oil hot. Put the garlic in the oil until it becomes very aromatic (less than a minute; 15-30 seconds). Add the celeriac and cook until the root is easy to pierce with a fork. Take off the heat and let cool a little. Put the celeriac and garlic in a blender, along with any of the excess olive oil. Add enough water to get the blender blades turning smoothly and add the salt and pepper.

Winter Vegetable Saute
1 leek
1 fennel bulb
1 bunch kale
1/2 tsp caraway
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
pinch salt

Thoroughly clean the leeks by slicing the leeks into rings and soaking them in a big bowl of water with a tsp of apple cider vinegar. Cut the base off the fennel and slice it with a mandolin slicer (slicing thinly with a good knife works too). Put the pan over medium heat and add some olive oil after the pan warms up. When the oil is warm, add the leeks. Once the leeks turn into a vibrant color, add the fennel, mustard seed, and caraway. Add the fennel.

Once the fennel is slightly translucent, add the kale and salt.

When I first made this, I put the saute over some kelp noodles. Noodles add nothing to this dish - it was much better with just the saute and celeriac puree.

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