A Vegetable Dish that Inspires: Mashed Potatoes and Celery Root

Celery root is the inspiration for many flavorful soups and stews, crudites and salads, especially in Europe. Also called “celeriac,” it  is a special kind of celery grown as a root vegetable primarily for its large and bulbous hypocotyl rather than for its stems and leaves. Unlike other root vegetables, which store a large amount of starch, celery root is only about 5.6% starch by weight.

I love this vegetable, which I first discovered in a Suzanne Sommers diet book. We’ve eaten it many times prepared mashed by itself with salt and pepper. Its delicate flavor is a gourmet treat.

But let me tell you, as good as celery root is by itself, Dale’s inspiration to mix it with potatoes and garlic powder, white pepper and nutmeg, butter and cream is a sensation. My husband and I think it is almost as delicious as  dessert. Wait till you try it!                                                                              [RuthAnn]

Dale in his Kitchen

Dale’s World

Mashed Potatoes and Celery Root

Celery root or celeriac is one of the ugliest things you will ever see in the grocery store. It is a gnarled brown looking thing somewhat larger than an apple. You will probably find it with the rest of the ugly produce, like horse radish and rutabagas. I have this theory: If it looks good it will probably taste good. Well, celery root disproves my theory, because in spite of its homely appearance, it really does taste good. The taste is very much like the common green celery stalks but when it is cooked it gets very mellow.

This is another of those non-recipe recipes. If you have ever made mashed potatoes, you can do this. Make a lot because it is good left over. I just put the leftovers in a ramekin and reheat it in the microwave. Use equal amounts of potatoes and celery root but don’t weigh or measure. The proportions are not critical.

You will need:

Potatoes                                                   Garlic Powder

Celery Root                                                Salt

Ground White Pepper                             Nutmeg

Butter                                                        Milk or Cream


1. Peel the potatoes and cut them into chunks.

2. Peel the celery root. You will probably need to do this with a paring knife because of the rough surface. After peeling, cut it into chunks which are smaller than the potato chunks. The reason for this is that the celery root is a little harder than the potato. By cutting the celery  root smaller it will be cooked when the larger chucks of potato are  done.

Celery Root


1. Put the celery root and potato in a pot and cover with water. Put a lid on the pot and boil until the vegetables are tender.

2. Pour off the water.

3. Mash the vegetables. I enjoy using a plain hand potato masher but use whatever suits your fancy.

4. Add enough butter and milk or cream to get a creamy consistency.

5. Season with salt, white pepper and garlic powder. Taste it. Umm!

6. Sprinkle a tiny bit of nutmeg on top as a garnish.

Food for Thought:

Where Are You Rooted?

Speaking of root vegetables makes me think about where I am rooted as a person. “ To root” means to implant deeply or establish oneself. A root is the source or origin, the bottom or real basis of a thing, as the bottom of the heart. Where we are rooted will determine the success or failure of our lives.

Root Vegetables

Some of us (though not many today) are  rooted in a place. Wendell Berry’s popular novel Jayber Crow is about a bachelor barber, whose life has  an under girding sense of place. The people who live in his Port William are rooted in that place too. They  love and work  the land practically all of their lives. Berry feels a sense of place is an important part of a healthy outlook on life.

A Ridley Family Homeplace

Then there’s ancestry. We’re each rooted in our ancestry whether we like it or not. My husband and  I are of English descent and we have tenant farmers in our geneaologies, school teachers, preachers, a sheriff, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, a 16th century martyr, and an Indian princess. But unfortunately, both my husband and I are also  direct descendants of King John of England of Robin Hood notoriety. Have his bad attitudes and habits filtered down to me through all these centuries? I would not want to be the person of whom was said, “She has been the root of . . .much pain and enmity.” ( Angela Margaret Thirkell)

How our 3-year-old Grandson hung our old family ornaments

All of us are probably rooted in some bad habits. They are like the weed in our back yard garden. If you have only a  bit of it, you enjoy the fragile white blossoms. But the weed has the kind of roots you curse, so deep it’s practically impossible to pull up. If left to itself, the vine will strangle our ground cover, our sweet williams, our blue salvia and even our rose bushes.

Where we put down our personal roots will determine whether our bad habits and attitudes (like bitterness) will be rooted out or allowed to stay and destroy our lives and testimonies.

God wants us to root ourselves: (1) in His love,(Ephesians 3:17), his house (the intimate Presence and security of God) and his Word.

The one who is rooted the way God desires is compared to two different trees in Psalm 92:  a tall erect evergreen palm tree or the magnificent cedar of Lebanon, which is . often 120 feet high and forty feet wide in girth. (Psalm 92:12-15) The word cedar comes from an old Arabic root meaning firmly-rooted, strong tree.

You can be rooted in stubbornnessor rooted in immovable conviction. If you are rooted in the convictions drawn from God’s Word, you will be transformed. Then George Eliot’s observation, ”There’s no more moving you than a rooted tree” will be a compliment.

In the Message Eugene Peterson translates Psalm 1: 3, “If you thrill to God’s Word, you chew on Scripture day and night (you’ll be) a tree replanted in Eden, bearing fresh fruit every month, never dropping a leaf, always in blossom.”

Regular intake of the word will enable us to beat those bad habits, over come any negative ancestry, and to avoid being a person who is double-minded “like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind” (James 1:6b).

The person who loves God’s word will become strong, excellent and as immovable as a tree. [RuthAnn]

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3 Responses to A Vegetable Dish that Inspires: Mashed Potatoes and Celery Root

  1. Diane Rutledge Hazel says:

    I love celery root! We first “discovered” it when living in France in 1977.

  2. Diane Rutledge Hazel says:

    When celery root was served to us in France, it mostly was prepared as thin cruidities or shredded and marinated or steamed. Similar to a celery and raisin salad, but not sweet.

  3. Dear Diane,

    I love it too, and I think it’s even better cooked in a stew that eaten alone. But it’s so mild and nice—and healthy.

    Thinking of you,

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