mashed potatoes with root vegetables

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Isn’t that turnip the cutest little thing? Like an old crazed bald man, with just a few errant hairs.

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In truth, when I was planning this dish, I had to call a friend to give me some root vegetable knowledge. Which is the one that looks like a white carrot? (A parsnip, it turns out.) Which one should I try first? She recommended turnips, and thus dictated my first ever turnip purchase.

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Of course I took the wussy way out and mixed them with potatoes. Still, I enjoyed the extra dimension of flavor they provided – kind of licoricey and fennel-like. Now I’m looking forward to introducing myself to other root vegetables with this recipe – celery root in particular sounds interesting.

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One year ago: Chanterelle Salad with Speck and Poached Eggs

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Mashed Potatoes and Root Vegetables (from Cooks Illustrated)

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 ounces carrots, parsnips, turnips, or celery root; carrots or parsnips cut into ¼-inch-thick half-moons; turnips or celery root cut into ½-inch dice (about 1½ inch cups)
1½ pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and cut crosswise into ¼-inch-thick slices; rinsed well in 3 to 4 changes of cold water and drained well
⅓ cup low-sodium chicken broth
table salt
¾ cup half-and-half, warmed
3 tablespoons minced fresh chives
ground black pepper

1. Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. When foaming subsides, add root vegetables and cook, stirring occasionally, until butter is browned and vegetables are dark brown and caramelized, 10 to 12 minutes. (If after 4 minutes, vegetables have not started to brown, increase heat to medium-high.)

2. Add potatoes, broth, and ¾ teaspoon salt and stir to combine. Cook, covered, over low heat (broth should simmer gently; do not boil), stirring occasionally, until potatoes fall apart easily when poked with a fork and liquid has been absorbed, 25 to 30 minutes. (If liquid does not gently simmer after a few minutes, increase heat to medium-low.) Remove pan from heat; remove lid and allow steam to escape for 2 minutes.

3. Gently mash potatoes and root vegetables in saucepan with potato masher (do not mash vigorously). Gently fold in warm half-and-half and chives. Season with salt and pepper to taste; serve immediately.

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  1. You should try rutabagas, they are sweet and delicious!

  2. I’m a huge fan of root vegetables. My grandmother would always mix turnips with her potatoes. I agree with the above poster about rutabagas they are so tasty. I use parsnips in my pot roast along side potatoes, carrots and turnips…yum!

  3. Another vote for root veggies! I like to cut up one of each of parsnips, turnips, (sweet or regular) potatoes, then add chopped fennel and onion and just roast them with olive oil, salt, and pepper. The onion and fennel make a nice contrast with the starchy root veggies and it’s soooo good! De-glazing the pan with whiskey doesn’t hurt, either.

  4. I thought rutabegas WERE turnips. Oh regional differences…they are so confusing! When my mom cooks turnip, she boils it and then mashes it with a bit of brown sugar.

  5. I just cooked turnips for the first time last week- I ended up roasting them with some potatoes and butternut squash and serving them with chickpeas and couscous. I really want to experiment some more with root vegetables. Because we are in a semi-tropical climate I guess they just aren’t as popular here- my parents never cooked them while I was growing up so I’m definitely bookmarking this recipe to try out!

  6. Turnips have been over looked for far too long! I have some recently in a Morrocan roast vegetable recipe and I vowed to cook with them more often. I never thought of them as little bald men!

  7. Jackie H. says:

    Mmm, root vegetable. One of the perfect winter foods and a staple in our house… Rutabagas aren’t turnips, but they are sometimes called Swedes (particularly in the UK and Ireland). Parsnips are carrots mashed are particularly good as a side dish and rutabaga goes very nicely with a pot roast. I also make a soup that consists of carrots, turnips, rutabagas, red onion, butternut squash, sweet potatoes – basically anything you have on hand. The only things I always add are the red onion (white will not be as nice), carrots, rutabagas and at least one potato. I’ve started adding some kale to it at the end and then pureeing the whole thing, season with a bit of nutmeg and salt and pepper. Such a yummy, hearty meal and SO easy. And the other bonus – root vegetables are CHEAP.

  8. What a great way to add some more veggies to meals – I love this. And I agree, that turnip definitely looks like a little old man!!

  9. I just tried this a couple weeks ago! I was playing around with some root veggies in mashed potatoes to get more veggies in, esp with a finicky bf. I was a huge fan and shockingly so was he. Love it.

  10. Eileen says:

    Parsnips get my vote. They are the best!

  11. Margarita says:

    I’ve been dying to try that recipe out! It just seems that there’s not a lot of liquid to go with all those taters and veggies… Wondering if it’s supposed to be 1 1/3 cup of broth. Did you encounter any problems while making this deliciousness?