Luscious white bean & celery root puree
White bean purees are often used as a bed for braised foods in French cuisine; in this instance pureed white beans are enriched with the ugly but tasty celeriac root (also called celery root) to form a soothing, hearty stand-in for mashed potatoes. Topped with vegetables braised in red wine like Red Wine Braised Leeks and Mushrooms this rustic puree transforms into an entree elegant enough for romantic mid-winter meal.
Celeriac root is covered with stringy roots and knotty nubs; use a paring knife to remove the particularly twisted root ends.
- 2 shallots, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/3 cup dry white wine
- 1 1/2 pounds celeriac root, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch chunks
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth
- One 14 ounce can (2 cups) white kidney (cannellini) or navy beans , drained and rinsed
- 4 springs fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
1. In a large heavy 2 quart saucepan heat the olive oil over medium heat. Stir in the garlic and fry for 30 seconds until fragrant, then stir in the shallots and fry 2 1/2 to 3 minutes until softened. Pour in the white wine and bring to an active simmer for 1 minute, stirring a few times to deglaze the pan. Add the diced celeriac root, vegetable broth and thyme. Increase the heat and bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to low. Cover and cook for 20 minutes until the celeriac is very tender.
2. Uncover and add the beans and salt. Increase the heat to medium and keep the pan uncover and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove the thyme springs and turn off the heat. Add the lemon juice and use an immersion blender to puree the mixture until smooth and thick like hummus. Taste the mixture and adjust seasoning if desired with more lemon juice or salt. If the mixture seems watery, simmer over low heat and stir occasionally until the desired thick consistency is reached. Serve puree hot alongside stews or sauteed foods.