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Seasonal Veggie Puree

December 19, 2011

One of the things we learned in school this week was how to make a puree. Any time I hear the word puree, I always think of that button on the blender, but it turns out there are quite a few different ways to make “a paste or thick liquid suspension usually made from cooked food ground finely”. One way of course, is to use a blender or food processor until you get the desired consistency. You can also use a fancy chinoise, but we haven’t used one in class yet and I don’t own one anyway. Another cool way is to use a food mill:

It’s simple enough: you insert the blade, place the mill over a bowl, deposit the cooked food into it, then turn the handle to grind it into a silky texture. It’s really simple and in class, produced for us the most perfect applesauce. However, since I don’t own a food mill (yet) I decided to make tonight’s puree with one of my funnest kitchen tools: my immersion blender:

It’s perfect if you’re making a creamy soup but don’t want to create a huge mess by transferring your cooked ingredients into a food processor or blender. You simply “immerse” the wand into the pot of food, turn it on and blend until it’s finished. Pretty much the smartest thing ever. I wasn’t sure what consistency I’d get for my puree by using this, but it was my simplest, quickest option so I decided to go with it.

When I picked up our CSA share this weekend at Greensgrow Farm, I bought some additional items from their farmers market including rutabaga, parsnips and sunchokes (AKA Jerusalem artichokes). I also got some fresh sage in our share, and I thought these would all compliment each other nicely.

First I peeled the rutabaga and diced it into 3/4″ cubes. These can take forever to cook, so I cut them smaller for time’s sake and threw them into a pot of boiling water. Ten minutes later, I added the peeled, diced parsnips. Ten minutes later, I added the peeled, diced sunchokes. (If you know me, you know that I rarely remove the skins from my vegetables because I like to include all edible parts of the food, thus preserving the nutrients, but since this recipe needed to be smooth, I decided to remove the skins for texture). Thirty minutes after starting the rutabaga, I strained the liquid and put the veggies into a bowl.

I finely chopped the fresh sage and cooked it on a very low flame with some fresh thyme in 1 1/2 Tbsp of cultured butter for about 4 minutes to infuse the flavor. I then added the veggies back to the butter mixture, added salt, ground pepper and some whole milk and busted out the immersion blender. I blended for a little, then added some more milk, then blended some more. All in all I blended for a total of about 2 minutes or so and used about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of milk.

Wow, this was delicious. My only regret is that I didn’t buy more ingredients. It was creamy with a bit of a sweet, herby perfume. I served it with braised kale with onions and chickpeas, but we’ll save that recipe for another time:

Seasonal Veggie Puree
Serves: About 3

1 Medium sized rutabaga, scrubbed, peeled & cut into 3/4″ dice
7 Medium to smallish parsnips, scrubbed, peeled and cut into 3/4″ dice
7 Medium to small sunchokes, scrubbed, peeled and cut into 3/4″ dice
1 1/2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp chopped fresh sage
1/2 Tbsp fresh thyme
1/3 to 1/2 Cup milk of your choice (depending on desired consistency)
Salt & black pepper

For a vegan version, reserve some of the boiling liquid to thin the puree instead of milk and substitute olive oil for the butter.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. testkitchenette permalink
    December 19, 2011 11:53 pm

    Looks delicious, nicely done!

  2. Vanessa Watts permalink
    December 26, 2011 1:52 pm

    Yum! I was just thinking about making a pureed winter vegg soup, do you think I can just add stock to this recipe to get the right consistency?

    • December 27, 2011 11:32 am

      Definitely! You can pretty much use any liquid you want, but stock would give a good flavor.

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