12oz / 300g Celeriac
8oz / 200g Carrots
8oz/200g Crown Prince squash
4oz / 100g Parsnips
2 tbsp Crème Fraiche
Ground white pepper to season
1 Mixed handful of Basil and Flat Leaf Parsley, or if your basil has finished, instead use Tarragon. At this time of year flat parsley is at its best, whilst curly varieties are taking their leave for the winter.
Be creative with your mash. All sorts of hearty winter roots can be combined with squash to make brightly coloured, chunky mashes. Coarse chopping preserves the individual flavours within a scrumptious matrix, so you get a whole symphony of autumn tastes and colours from one simple dish.In this recipe we have chosen bright yellow flesh from Crown Prince Squash, the first of the Giant Prague celeriac, our preferred main crop carrot, the stump rooted vivid red James Scarlett, and our all round favourite parsnip Countess. Other candidates could be potatoes of course, beetroots, salsify and celery stalks and chard main ribs. The resulting dish has a rich yellow base, vivid carrot seams and little chunks of celeriac and parsnip. It’s a rich and warming winter herald.
Peel & chop Celeriac & Carrots into 1cm cubes. Peel & chop Parsnips into 1 inch cubes. The squash can be cooked in bigger chunks as it breaks down readily.
Put into a saucepan and cover with salted water. Bring to the boil and cook until vegetables are tender, but not so long that the celeriac and carrots lose their integrity. Strain and drain, return to the saucepan, place back on low heat briefly to evaporate excess moisture.
Using a coarse pored potato masher, mash until the vegetables resemble crushed potatoes, just not so smooth that the texture is lost. Fold in the chopped herbs, crème fraiche and be generous with the pepper.
For an impressive presentation use a timbale, a round open ended mould, to press out a neat but chunky little cylinder of mash onto each plate, or heap up generously in a serving dish, with a final sprinkle of parsley.