Celery Root and Sweet Potato Gratin

Celery root looks awful and requires serious paring to get to the good stuff, but the results are worth the effort. I’ve used a swivel peeler, but I think the best approach is slicing away the exterior with a chef’s knife. The root end holds a lot of dirt, and while I’ve carved around the crevasses, these days I don’t try so hard to save every little morsel. However you choose to attack the thing, you want to end up with mostly creamy looking interior. Cut into chunks.

For this gratin, I use white flesh sweet potatoes (as opposed to the sweeter orange fleshed varieties often sold as yams, but really just different varieties of sweet potato).   Peel and cube as much as you need to yield about the same amount as the celery root. Steam them together until tender, then mash coarsely.

Add a generous pour of olive oil (start with a few tablespoons or so; add more if it seems dry), a few shakes of pimenton (smoked paprika from Spain), and salt. Spread into a baking dish, top with bread crumbs, and bake until nicely browned.