Celery Root–Parsnip–Potato Mash. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend
Celery Root–Parsnip–Potato Mash. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend

Don’t get me wrong, I love mashed potatoes. It’s the perfect foundation for all the lovely braised meats and stews of the season. What is better than pan-seared fish with a buttery-lemony sauce perched atop a mound of smooth potato puree?

But this. This lovely trio of roots–celery root (celeriac), parsnips, and russet potatoes–brings nuance and depth to a side that can range from lumpy and bland to overwhelmingly rich (when it’s perfect though…). It feels special, and interesting.

And besides all that, it is an excellent accompaniment to braised short ribs, beef stew, braised pork, or roast chicken. Pork chops, beef tenderloin, and country-style ribs would all feel at home nestled up to this mash.

The celery root takes a bit longer to cook than the parsnips and potatoes, so I opted to do them in a separate pot. The extra dish is worth it in order to ensure that everything is cooked properly. I also liked the smoother texture of using a potato ricer, then pureeing the riced vegetables with an immersion blender.

Another great thing about this? Add a few cups of chicken stock and turn it into a delicious, warming soup for lunch! A great way to use up the leftovers, if you have any.

Ingredients for Celery Root–Parsnip–Potato Mash. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend
Ingredients for Celery Root–Parsnip–Potato Mash. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend

Recipe: Celery Root–Parsnip–Potato Mash

Serves 6 to 8


  • 1 celery root (celeriac; about 1 1/2 lb), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 lb parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream, warmed
  • 1/4 cup whole milk, warmed
  • Ground white pepper
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  1. In a saucepan, toss together the potatoes and parsnips. In another saucepan, add the celery root. Add enough cold water to cover the vegetables in each saucepan by 1 inch. Add a generous amount of kosher salt to each pan. Over medium-high heat, bring to a boil, then cook at a low boil, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 20 minutes for the potato-parsnips and about 30 minutes for the celery root. Drain well.
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  3. Using a potato ricer, press the vegetables together into one of the saucepans. Add the butter and stir until melted. Add the cream and milk and beat with a fork until creamy and smooth. If you like a smoother texture, use an immersion blender. (Alternatively, add the butter, cream, and milk to the vegetables and use a potato masher.) Add a little more milk if needed. Season to taste with additional salt and a pinch of white pepper.
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Serve the Celery Root–Parsnip–Potato Mash. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend
Serve the Celery Root–Parsnip–Potato Mash. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend
Forget Mashed Potatoes, This Root Vegetable Mash is the Bomb 2 December,2015Kim Laidlaw

  • Tim Erickson

    Looks yummy. And nicely written up!


Kim Laidlaw

Kim Laidlaw is a cookbook author, editor, food writer, producer, project manager, and baker who has been in the kitchen covered in flour since she was big enough to stir the biscuit dough. She has over 16 years of experience in book and online publishing, and a lifetime of experience in the kitchen.

Her first cookbook, Home Baked Comfort, was published in 2011; her second cookbook, Baby & Toddler On the Go, was published in April 2013; and her third cookbook, Williams-Sonoma Dessert of the Day, was published in October 2013.

She was the first blogger on KQED’s Bay Area Bites blog, which launched in 2005, and previously worked as a professional baker at La Farine French Bakery in Oakland, CA. She lives in Petaluma with her husband and their child, whom she cooks for everyday. Find out more at http://www.kimlaidlaw.com.


Wendy Goodfriend

I am the Senior Interactive Producer for KQED Food. I have designed and produced food-related websites and blogs for KQED including Bay Area Bites; Check, Please! Bay Area;  Taste This; Jacques Pepin’s websites; Weir Cooking in the City and KQED Food. When I am not creating and managing food websites I am taking photos and video of Bay Area Life and designing online navigation systems. My professional education and training includes: clinical psychology, photography, commercial cooking, web design, information architecture and UX. You can find me engaged in social media on Twitter @bayareabites and on Facebook at Bay Area Bites. I can also be found photoblogging at look2remember.

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