Celery Root Puree with Balsamic Roasted Beets and Pearl Onions
This dairy-free celery root puree has been kicked up a notch with balsamic roasted beets and sweet, pearl onions. It’s a deliciously perfect, plant-based meal.
When it comes to food blogging I find myself wondering about the whole “chicken vs egg” concept. Is it that good cooks become food bloggers, or is it that food bloggers end up becoming good (or better) cooks?
For me, I have to say it’s probably more of the latter. I mean, I’ve always been a decent cook, but since becoming a food blogger (which, I still find so funny to say!) I find myself stretching my culinary boundaries. Using ingredients that I sorta know about….but not really. Because I need new ideas. And textures. And flavors. So I experiment.
Case in point – celery root.
I’ve had it before in restaurants, but couldn’t ever recall ever cooking with it. So when I went to the market this week and saw this knobby, not-so-pretty ingredient sitting by it’s lonesome (next to more popular ingredients like kale and spinach), I felt compelled to grab a few. I had no idea what I was gonna do with it, but figured what the heck. It was time for a little kitchen creativity!
For celery root newbies, celery root (aka celeriac) is a variety of celery grown specifically for its bulbous root. Like cassava, parsnips and turnips. And yes, it does taste like celery, but with a more mild flavor.
When blended with coconut milk though, wowzers, celery root (the former “ugly duckling” of the produce aisle) becomes creamy and smooth – like old fashioned whipped potatoes. Yet…it’s healthier! Because cup for cup celery root has the same amount of dietary fiber as potatoes with only 1/3 of the carbohydrates. Translation: no sugar spikes!
But eating only a bowl of celery root puree would be a tad bit boring. And beige. So I’ve topped it with balsamic, herb roasted beets, pearl onions and a handful of microgreens. Not only is it nutrient-dense meal, it tastes amazing…and look – the purple color of the microgreens matches beautifully to the purple-ish color in the beets!
Ahh, I love when kitchen experimentation all works out.
PS – here’s a quick video tutorial on how to chop celery root, if you need it.
- 4-5 beets
- 1½ cups pearl onions
- 3 tbsp olive oil (divided)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- ½ tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 4 cups celery root, peeled and diced into ½ inch cubes
- 1 can (13.5 ounce) full-fat coconut milk
- ⅔ cup water
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 cups microgreens
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.
- If using a jar/can of pearl onions, drain and rinse. If using fresh pearl onions, soak in a bowl of warm water for 5 minutes to loosen the skin. Using a pairing knife, cut off the ends and remove the outer skin. Place onto a large baking sheet and set aside.
- Using a vegetable peeler, peel the beets and place on a non-wood cutting board (a wood cutting board will stain). Slice the beets into quarters or evenly sized pieces and add to the baking sheet. Toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place in the middle of the oven and cook for 25-30 minutes, stirring once or twice midway through.
- Whisk together the balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, herbs and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Set aside.
- While the beets are cooking, heat the olive oil in a pot on medium-high heat and saute the garlic for one minute. Add the chopped celery root, coconut milk, water, salt and pepper. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pot and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Turn the stove off and use a stick blender to puree the celery root mixture until smooth. Cover the pot to keep warm until ready to serve. (*Alternatively, pour the ingredients into a high-powered blender to puree).
- Once the beets and onions have cooked, drizzle the balsamic mixture on the baking sheet, toss to combine and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
- Serve by scooping a portion of the celery root puree into a bowl and topping with roasted beets, pearl onions and a handful of microgreens.
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