Friday, January 1, 2010

Potato and Celery Root Hummus with Avocado

One of the primary ideas behind the slow foods movement is that live food is good food -- there are compounds in fresh produce that aren't found in imported fruits and vegetables. Hence why I stopped in my tracks when I saw something still actually growing on the refrigerated shelves of the Whole Foods produce section.

Upon closer inspection, it was clearly a celery root. Bright tiny celery stalks were emerging from its top as it stood alone on the shelf. No price, no code, but I bagged it anyway. It was just too interesting to pass up, plus it was an ingredient I'd never worked with before.

Celery root reminds me of the baby in that Czech film, Little Otik. A bit creepy, but once the root is cleaned up and peeled it looks like any other root vegetable. To prepare it for boiling, cut off the top and any roots at the bottom. Using a vegetable peeler, get the rest of the skin off. Using a large sharp knife, chop into small cubes.

You will need:

1 cubed celery root
4 medium yellow potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 medium avocado
4 tbsp butter or olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
1 1/2 tsp garlic salt
dash of chili powder

Boil the potatoes and celery root for approximately 40 minutes. Throw all ingredients into a bowl and mash -- I recommend using a mixer if you can because it takes awhile to smooth out. When storing, use plastic wrap to put directly over the surface to avoid discoloration. This is especially good served with brown rice or warmed pita squares.

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