But my family always has a pureed [insert obscure vegetable] and there isn’t one on this menu!
Any dinner that involves tradition and family is bound to run up against roadblocks of the ‘but we always have this’ variety. Best solution: “You always have this? Great! You can bring it.” Second best, try to get ahead of the game.
These dishes can be made the night before, covered tightly with saran wrap (clingfilm) and reheated in a microwave or by stirring around in a pan with a knob of butter for a few minutes.
Warning: Under no circumstances attempt to blend regular potatoes in a blender or processor. You will end up with a gummy wallpaper paste mess. It is bad enough that one of us had to do this. Use a masher, potato ricer or a food mill.
Sweet potato puree / Yam puree / Jerusalem artichoke puree / carrot and turnip puree / pumpkin and butternut squash puree (serves 8, generously)1kg sweet potatoes / yams / Jerusalem artichokes / 750g carrots 250g turnips / 500g pumpkin 500g butternut squash ¼ cup cream 2 cloves crushed / grated garlic 2 tbsp butter Salt and pepper
- Peel and cube the vegetables
- Boil in water until tender
- Mash with the cream and butter for a rustic puree or blend for a smooth puree
- Season well
Possible variations on the theme:
- Consider adding coconut milk instead of cream to the sweet potato puree
- Or topping with pecans
- Or a drizzle of maple syrup
- Add a teaspoon of coriander to the carrot and turnip puree
- Or sprinkle fresh coriander over the carrot and turnip puree before serving
- Top the yam puree with mini marshmallows and sear under a hot grill for a minute until toasted (use a blowtorch if you’ve got one – and if you do I suggest blowtorching at the table for added drama).
- Add a tablespoon of orange juice with the cream and the zest of half an orange to the pumpkin butternut squash puree.
- Spritz the Jerusalem artichoke puree with lemon to liven it up before serving. Top with fresh parsley.
- Consider roasting the pumpkin and butternut squash at 400 for 20-25 minutes rather than boiling.