Hello Comfort Food. This celery root puree with truffle and leek is quickly becoming a winter comfort food favorite at my house.
Below is a photo I took just steps from our front door, in a neighboring forest of 20 to 40 year old Doug Fir trees where wild truffles come to life here in the Oregon coast range. I was lucky enough to have a professional truffle hunter, Goose the black lab, and his owner Kelly, lead us to find wild truffles in this forest a few winters ago. Since then, I have been working on training our black lab, Jack, to hunt for truffles too.
Meet “Truffles” the Bear. Truffles is a stuffed bear covered in truffle oil. I hide Truffles in the woods around our house, and let Jack out to find him in mere minutes. This has quickly become Jack’s favorite game of all time. I put Jack in the house, hide Truffles within 100 feet of the house, let Jack out again, and Jack circles the yard until he finds him. Within minutes every time. The next step in our training is hiding small truffle sized toys underground, so that he can track them and lead me to the truffle treasures. Below is a photo of Truffles the Bear, and Jack our Labrador.
Jack could certainly learn a few tricks for finding Truffles from Goose. Goose is the black lab pictured below. Goose is the most skilled truffle hunter I have had the chance of hunting with! After Kelly gives him a quick work out game of fetch in the field, we head into the woods where Goose starts circling until he picks up the truffle sent. When Goose finds one he leads us right to it, scratches his paw on the spot, and then stops digging with Kelly’s command.
Kelly then uses her truffle rake to lightly dig a few inches under the surface until we find the truffles! I learned a few tips from Kelly that helped me to find a wild truffle without the help of a dog. Ideally you want to look in forests of 20 to 40 year old Douglas Fir trees with an open forest floor. Then you can start to look for areas of moss and undergrowth that are slightly disturbed and show signs of rodent digging and activity. This is because rodents also enjoy dining on wild truffles. And when you find one truffle, there are usually more neaby. Then you use a little rake to lightly dig a few inches under the surface until you find some.
Below is a picture of one of the truffles we found. I got so excited after finding our first one, I forgot to take photos of the others, but we actually did pretty good! And since this adventure was a couple winters ago, and those truffles are long gone, for the recipe below I used a nice olive oil infused with white truffle oil that I purchased online. This is the same truffle oil I scent Truffles the Bear with, since it is relatively inexpensive, around $15 per bottle. And a little goes a long ways!
Celery Root Puree with Truffle and Leek
- 6 cups celery root, celeraic about 2 large celery root
- water for boiling
- 1/2 cup diced leek
- 3 Tablespoons of goat milk butter divided, or expeller pressed coconut oil
- 1/4 cup to 1/2 - goat milk kefir coconut milk or sour cream
- drizzle of truffle oil I use white truffle
- sea salt & black pepper to taste
- (*For AIP: use coconut oil coconut milk or coconut yogurt, omit black pepper)
Bring a pot of water to a boil.
Peel celery root and then chop into small 1 inch pieces.
Boil celery root in water with a pinch of sea salt for 15 minutes, or until soft.
In a separate small frying pan melt 1 Tablespoon goat milk butter and saute chopped leek over medium heat for about 5 to 8 minutes, watch closely to avoid burning leeks.
After boiling, drain water from cooked celery root. Add in butter and kefir and use an immersion blender to cream the celery root into what resembles mashed potatoes.
Stir in leeks and melted butter used to cook leeks. Drizzle in a little truffle oil to taste, or add a little truffle sea salt. Garnish with a little sea salt and black pepper.
*Feel free to use fresh minced chives in place of leeks. Just stir them in fresh.
*Roasted garlic and sauteed onion are also a nice addition to celery root puree.
Estimated nutrition based on making 4 servings, using goat milk butter.