Winter Mash

(recipe, Mitchell Davis)


A combination of root vegetables gives this wintry side dish a deep flavor and a beautiful color. I prefer the texture when the whole thing is passed through a food mill, but if all you've got is a masher, use that instead. Do not use a food processor, which produces a gummy mess.


  1. 3 medium sweet potatoes (2 pounds), peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
  2. 2 to 3 medium all-purpose white potatoes (1 pound), such as Yukon Gold, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
  3. 1 medium celery root or large rutabaga (1pound), peeled and cut into 1½-inch chunks
  4. 4 medium carrots (1 pound), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  5. Kosher salt
  6. 1 small bay leaf
  7. 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  8. ¼ cup heavy cream
  9. Freshly ground nutmeg (optional)


  1. Place the sweet potatoes, white potatoes, celery root, and carrots into a large pot. Cover with cold water. Add 2 tablespoons of salt and the bay leaf and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the vegetables are very tender, about 35 to 40 minutes. Drain. Remove the bay leaf. Pass the vegetables through a food mill or mash well with a potato masher. Beat in the butter and cream. Season with another tablespoon or so of salt and a pinch of nutmeg, if using.


ADVANCE PREP: The vegetables can be peeled and cut in advance. Only the potatoes need to be submerged in cold water until cooking. Once made, the mash will keep warm, covered in a pot near the stove, for about 30 minutes. LEFTOVERS: The mash will keep for about two weeks in the fridge. It can also be frozen for up to a month. To reheat, I find the microwave works best. Leftovers are good as a binding for croquettes or a filling for a savory potato pie. VARIATION Root Vegetable Puree Baked with Cheese For a delicious dish, and a good way to use up leftovers, layer the chilled winter mash in a baking dish with Cream Sauce (page 404) and a combination of shredded Cheddar and Swiss cheeses. End with a layer of cheese, sprinkle with paprika, and bake in a 375-degrees oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until the mash is heated through and the cheese has browned.