Celery Root Puree with Anjou Pear
Serves eight as a side dish
When summer fades and the markets fill with fall fruits and roots, make this savory-sweet purée of pears and celery root, a perfect accompaniment to roast pork tenderloin or to pork of any kind.
1 large celery root, about 1½ lb/680 g, trimmed, peeled, and cut into 1-in/2.5-cm cubes
Kosher or fine sea salt
4 Anjou pears, about 2 lb/910 g
¼ cup/55 g unsalted butter
½ cup/120 ml dry vermouth
¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
½ cup/120 ml heavy whipping cream, warmed
Freshly ground white pepper
Fill a 6-qt/5.7-L saucepan two-thirds full of water. Add the celery root and 1 tsp salt, cover partially, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat so the water simmers and cook until the celery root is tender when pierced with a knife, about 15 minutes. Drain the celery root in a colander and return it to the pan. Place the pan over low heat for 1 minute to evaporate any excess moisture.
Meanwhile, using a vegetable peeler, peel, halve, and core the pears and cut them into 1-in/2.5-cm chunks. In a large frying pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the pears and ½ tsp salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pears are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the vermouth and nutmeg and continue cooking until the pears are very soft and the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes more. Remove the pan from the heat.
In a food processor, combine half each of the celery root, pears, and cream and process until completely smooth. Transfer the purée to a warmed serving bowl. Repeat with the remaining celery root, pears, and cream and add to the bowl. Season with salt and white pepper.
Serve immediately or keep warm in the top of a double boiler or cover and rewarm in a microwave oven.