Michael Symon's Celery Root Puree Is 'Better Than Mashed Potatoes' - Exclusive

It's mashed potato season, as it should be all year long. The side dish is a kitchen staple, one that has many variations, ranging from seasonings to the types of potatoes used (shoutout to the always delicious sweet potato variety). While some people prefer them cheesy, others prefer them garlicky or every other creative recipe in between — but Michael Symon encourages you to try an alternative to the traditional mashed potatoes.

In an exclusive interview with Food Republic on his newest partnership with canned tomato brand, Contadina, the cookbook author recommended reaching for celery root in lieu of potatoes. Celery root, also known as celeriac, is the bulb of a celery plant. According to Denver Health Medical, the root vegetable is filled with anti-inflammatory antioxidants and several vitamins (B-complex, C, and K). Aside from celery roots' health benefits, Symon claims that it's pretty darn delicious as a substitute for mashed potatoes.

Blend celery root

"Celery root may be the most underrated of the root vegetables, especially this time of year," Michael Symon told Food Republic, speaking on the winter months. "A celery root puree is four times better than mashed potatoes," he added. The Food Network star advises that you cook celery root "exactly how you'd make mashed potatoes." Due to the fact that the vegetable doesn't consist of starch like potatoes do, you can actually puree them in a blender for a smooth finish.

Symon joked, "Take celery root, cook it, mash it, and you will be like, 'Oh my God, where's this been all my life?'" You can season the side dish as you normally would mashed potatoes. Lemon juice, salt, butter, garlic, and fresh chives are all great additions to a mouth-watering celery root puree. Of course, you will include whichever form of dairy you prefer—likely heavy whipping cream.

Check out Michael Symon's recipes on Contadina's website or keep up with his latest projects on his Instagram page.