There is no set rule for the types of root vegetables you can use in this recipe. In fact, what you see on the ingredients list is what happened to be in my kitchen when I set out to make a Root Vegetable Purée to serve with Roast Chicken last night. As I puréed the steamed vegetables, I envisioned doctoring it with all sorts of extra spices, a little grated cheese, maybe even some minced onion. But then I tasted the purée, and was blown away by its soft, sweet, nutty flavor. Mild and delicate, all it needed was salt and pepper and a dollop of sour cream to lighten its texture. For a little autumnal flourish, I topped the purée with fresh sage leaves before baking, so their woody flavor would lightly infuse the vegetables.
Baked Root Vegetable Purée
Baking the purée creates a crusty texture on its top. If you would like a soft purée, omit the baking step. The sage leaves will lightly infuse the purée with their flavor during baking.
Serves 6-8 as a side dish
3 medium parsnips
2 large turnips
1 large sweet potato
1 large rutabaga (swede)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup (60 ml.) creme fraiche or sour cream
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Sage leaves for garnish
Peel and cut vegetables in 2 inch chunks. Steam in a large pot until very tender, 20-30 minutes. Transfer in two batches to a food processor. Purée each batch with 2 tablespoons butter. Combine puréed vegetables, sour cream, salt and pepper in large bowl and mix well. Pour into baking dish. (Purée can be made to this point up to one day in advance. Allow to cool completely, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before baking.)
Arrange sage leaves on top of purée, pressing gently. Bake in pre-heated 350 F. oven 25 minutes. Remove and serve immediately.