Celery Root Puree with Crispy Fennel

celeryrootThis a simple but elegant side dish that pairs well with fish, chicken – would probably even stand up to a steak!  Move over garlic mashed potatoes!!

1 large celery root, peeled and cut into small chunks
1/2 onion, cut into small chunks
1 cup of coconut milk (or full fat milk)
1/2 cup of water
2 T coconut oil (or butter)
sea salt/fresh ground pepper (to taste)

1 fennel bulb, sliced really thin
2 T olive oil or coconut oil
sea salt/fresh ground pepper (to taste)

Bring milk and water to boil along with the celery root and onion chunks, simmer until tender, about 30 minutes.  While the celery root cooks, in a medium saute pan heat the olive oil (or coconut oil) over medium heat and add the fennel, cooking until the fennel starts to turn a nice golden brown.  The fennel will nearly as long as the celery root, so I start them at the same time.  Stir the fennel often so that it doesn’t burn, I recommend lowering the heat after about 10 minutes to prevent burning and overcooking.

Once the celery root is tender, drain and reserve the milk/water mixture into a bowl or measuring cup.  Add the coconut oil/butter and salt/pepper and puree with stick blender or in a food processor/blender adding the reserved liquid to achieve a texture similar to mashed potatoes.

Serve a dollop of the celery root puree topped with the carmelized fennel.