Celery Root and Cauliflower Purée with Garlicky Greens (Vegetarian, Vegan Option, Paleo)

A creamy purée of celery root and cauliflower topped with garlicky sautéed chard makes a simple, rustic side dish.

cauliflower, chard, celery root, celery root puree, cauliflower puree, low carb mashed potatoes

Meet my new favorite purée, a creamy combination of silky soft cauliflower and celery root.

It’s a quiet and perhaps unfamiliar combination as far as sides go but it’s supremely comforting and rather elegant when dressed up nicely with a pile of garlicky greens.  It’s just the type of dish I get excited about and want to eat for days on end.

celery root and cauliflower mash, celery root puree, cauliflower puree

Celery root and cauliflower are my white vegetables of choice here because of their creamy texture and mild, almost nutty (verging on grassy) flavor that makes them a nice change of pace from the mashed spuds we all grew up on.  Not to mention that they make a lovely low-carb stand-in for the traditional side, although I’d argue that they taste so good together they shouldn’t really be considered a stand-in for anything at all.

Once steamed and whizzed up vigorously in the food processor with a few pats of butter (or olive oil for a vegan version), the creamy mash is ready to be served with no further action on your part but I do think it really shines buried under a mound of crumpled green chard.

The splendidly silky garlic infused greens add an extra layer of flavor and dimension to the dish while a pinch of red pepper adds a welcome hint of heat.

cauliflower puree, cerlery root puree, low carb mashed cauliflower

This is the kind of side that fits right into a busy weeknight dinner as well as a fancier affair and I suspect it will be making a repeat appearance at my dinner table this holiday season.

What’s your go-to side dish for the holidays?

Serves Serves 4 to 6

Celery Root and Cauliflower Purée with Garlicky Greens (Vegetarian with Vegan Option, Paleo)

A creamy purée of celery root and cauliflower topped with garlicky sautéed greens makes a for simple to prepare weeknight or holiday side.

15 minPrep Time

30 minCook Time

45 minTotal Time

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    For the Celery Root and Cauliflower Purée:
  • 1 medium celery root (about 16 ounces), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 small head or half a large head of cauliflower (about 16 ounces), cut into small florets
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 Tablespoons butter (use extra virgin olive oil for vegan version)
  • For the Sautéed Chard:
  • 2 bunches Swiss chard (wash chard, leaving some water clinging to the leaves)
  • 1Tablespoon butter ( or extra virgin olive oil for a vegan version)
  • 2 small or 1 large garlic cloves, finely minced
  • One large pinch or 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • sea salt to taste


    Make the Celery Root and Cauliflower Purée:
  1. Set a steamer basket in a large pot or pan and fill with water to just below the basket. Bring water to a steady boil.
  2. Add the celery root and cauliflower florets (you may need to do this in two batches depending on the size of your pot); reduce to a low simmer. Cover and steam until tender (about 15 minutes).
  3. Transfer vegetables to the bowl of a food processor, add butter and salt and process until smooth (you may need to add 1 or 2 Tablespoons of the steaming liquid to loosen the puree to the right consistency). Season with additional salt and pepper to taste and keep covered while making the garlicky greens.
  4. You can also refrigerate the puree up to 1 day ahead of time and reheat in a heatproof glass bowl set over a pan of simmering water before topping with the sautéed chard.
  5. Make the Sautéed Chard:
  6. Stack chard leaves, roll together and slice them into 1/4-inch strips. Cut the stems three quarters of the way down very thinly.
  7. Heat the butter (or olive oil) in a large skillet or sauté pan with a lid. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté for 30 seconds just until the garlic is fragrant.
  8. Stir in the still wet chard leaves and stems, turning it in the butter and garlic for 2 to 3 minutes until just starting to wilt.
  9. Cover the pan and let cook for another 2 to 3 minutes until both the sliced stems and leaves are just tender. Season with a pinch or two of sea salt .


Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Vegetarian, Vegan options, Paleo


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  1. says

    Just lovely, Sylvie! Your alternative to mashed potatoes will be a welcome addition to our primal/paleo Thanksgiving Day table (our 4th year in a row). Love that you added greens laced with garlic for a special edition of this simple yet elegant dish. Thank you for sharing!

  2. says

    I never know what to do with celery root, so thanks for such a great idea! I imagine I’d end up topping this whole shebang with some hot & spicy white beans or chickpeas (maybe even cooked with the greens?), for an entire fall feast. 🙂

  3. says

    First time on your blog and loving it. Such a delicious recipe! I like your idea of combining celery root and cauliflower together – I must be really creamy puree. Love your photography too.

  4. says

    Ryan and I were just talking about how we wanted to try something new for Thanksgiving. We are bored with mashed potatoes. Clearly this is the recipe for us to try!

  5. says

    Looks beautiful 🙂 I love mashed potatoes.. You gave me another idea now .. Thanks for sharing..
    As always gorgeous clicks.. I am totally smitten by your photography 🙂

  6. says

    That is one of the most tempting vegetable recipes I have seen in ages! I love alternatives to mashed potato (with lamb, I’ll often make chickpea mash) and this fits the bill perfectly, never mind the fact that I adore celeriac AND cauliflower 🙂

  7. says

    The cauliflower is a bit more predominant here, with the celery root adding depth to the background. Celery root (or celeriac) if you haven’t had it before is one of the uglier things in the produce section. It is not actually the root of the celery, but more of a cousin, imparting the celery flavor in a root version. And of an interesting note, unlike other root vegetables, celery roots has a relatively low starch content (5-6% … thank you wikipedia ).