Back to the Kitchen: Celery Root & Potato Hash

Editor’s Note: In 2012 one of our main goals is to help our readers get back in the kitchen cooking seasonally inspired meals for themselves and their families. Welcome to Back to the Kitchen, our seasonal, home cooking series where you will find tried and true recipes and techniques using locally sourced and sustainable ingredients.

By Jennifer Spaide

Don't be put off by celeriac's gnarly appearance. It's delicious raw, boiled or roasted.

Celery root, or celeriac, is the root of the wild celery plant, a cousin of the celery stalk we all know and love.  Its white flesh is earthy and mildly herbaceous, with undertones of celery, and offers a good source of vitamins and minerals like Vitamin C and potassium.

While it is similar in size and shape to a turnip, celery root’s knobby, gnarly appearance often lands it in the unwanted bin. But given its versatility and ease of preparation,  celeriac deserves a spot in our farmers’ market bag or grocery cart. Celeriac is delicious eaten raw- grated into slaws, salads, and remoulades.  It is also a wonderful alternative (or accompaniment) to potatoes- roasted, mashed, or used in gratins, soups and stews.

This hash is a stepped-up version of the diner standard.  While it’s delicious alongside your morning eggs, it also makes a hearty side dish for brunch, lunch or dinner.

Celery Root & Potato Hash

Serves 4

  • 1 celery root, peeled & cut into 1/2 inch dice
  • 2 russet potatoes (or whatever you find at the market), peeled & cut into 1/2 inch dice
  • 3-4 slices bacon (optional), thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp thyme leaves, chopped
  • extra virgin olive oil

Scrub and peel the celeriac with a knife, then cut it in 1/2 inch wide slices, then strips, then dice.

Place the diced celery root and potatoes in a small pot and cover with cold water.  Add a pinch of salt, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  As soon as the pot boils, turn heat off, and drain the celery root and potato in a colander.  Set aside.

Add just enough water to the pan to cover the celeriac and potatoes.

Heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat.  Add the sliced bacon and cook until golden and crispy.  Remove bacon bits and drain on a paper towel.  Reserve.

The hash is done when both the potatoes and celeriac are browned and tender.

Add the onion to the sauté pan, season with salt and pepper and sauté until translucent, about 3-5 minutes.  Add the garlic and thyme leaves, sautéing another 1-2 minutes.  Then add the parboiled celery root and potatoes.  Sauté until the veggies are browned and tender.   Season with salt and pepper.  Top your hash with the bacon bits before serving.

Variation:  Sauté the sliced bacon in 2 tbsp olive oil, then toss with the remaining ingredients, spread out on a sheet pan and roast for 20-30 minutes, at 350˚, until golden brown.

While it’s delicious alongside your morning eggs, it also makes a hearty side dish for brunch, lunch or dinner.

Jennifer Spaide is a natural foods chef, writer, and mother. Spaide received her Masters in Human Nutrition at Columbia University and attended culinary school at The Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. Jennifer grew up with an innate appreciation for fresh-from-the-garden foods and wants to share that passion with others. Her online magazine, Simplicious, gives readers fresh recipes that are healthy and easy to prepare, bites of tasty information that help bring health into the home, and breaks down complex topics into easily digestible table-talk that even the kids will understand. In addition to her magazine, Spaide maintains a bi-monthly column in the New Canaan Advertiser, and continues to work as a freelance writer and recipe developer. www.simpliciousmag.com.

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