Ina Garten's Mashed Potato Alternative Is Just As Creamy As The Real Thing

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If you're looking for low-carb substitutes, you might feel stumped when it comes to mimicking the starchiness and creamy texture of a beloved recipe like mashed potatoes. The Barefoot Contessa, aka Ina Garten, has an answer for you; her celery root and chickpea puree is reminiscent of coarsely mashed potatoes and is full of flavor with added lemon and Parmesan cheese. "When I make any kind of roasted meat, I like to serve something creamy and comforting with it," Garten explains in her cookbook "Cook Like a Pro" where the recipe is found. "There's nothing wrong with great mashed potatoes, but I'm always looking for an alternative."

What is celery root, though? Also commonly known as celeriac, it's a root vegetable that is grown for its edible bulb. Its flavor is similar to an earthy turnip if it were crossed with crisp celery and, well ... a potato. The large, melon-shaped knobs of celery root are peeled and grated, then boiled and mashed like potatoes. When pureed with chickpeas, the result is a creamy side dish that will be just as delicious as a bowl of real mashed potatoes.

The mashed potato alternative you'll love

You can start making Garten's celery root and chickpea puree by bringing diced celery root to a boil in chicken or vegetable stock. Once the celery root is very tender, you'll add drained chickpeas and simmer. Afterward, pour the mixture and its liquid into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Process until just coarsely pureed, then reheat over a low flame. In a separate bowl, combine olive oil, thyme, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Whisk everything into the puree, and, away from the heat, stir in the Parmesan.

If you can't get enough celery root after enjoying this incredible side, consider using the vegetable as a potato substitute in other dishes. It will taste equally great roasted alongside other root vegetables or steamed and used as a replacement in a potato salad. For a more substantial dish, try roasting a whole celery root or baking it just like you would a potato with olive oil and salt.