Imagine the silkiest, smoothest mashed potatoes you've ever had. Rich, creamy and lump free. Got it? Well that's exactly what pureed veggies are like. They appear somewhat fancy and are found all the time in upscale restaurants. But they're really just as simple as mashed potatoes, if not more so. I don't think they require the embellishments mashed potatoes sometimes need to reach that perfect consistency.
You can use the same technique for all kinds of root vegetables. Potatoes and sweet potatoes are obvious choices, but also consider rutabaga, celeriac, beets, squash, carrots and turnips. Mix and match if you'd like.
1 1/2 pounds of turnips are good for about four people. But since I like leftovers, I went with slightly more and added in a few potatoes. I was serving this at a dinner for someone I know isn't a big turnip lover. So I'm thinking he might not even notice the difference with the potato in there. I've replaced up to half of the potatoes in mashed potatoes with turnips at Thanksgiving dinner before, and no one knew. Just a hint, if you need it.
While I often just keep the skins on root veggies like turnips, for a smooth purée you do need to peel. A note about turnips: there are both small, spring varieties that come with their greens attached, and then the larger, heartier winter variety without greens, which is the kind you'll find this time of year.
Chop the turnips into one inch pieces. We're going to boil them and the smaller the pieces the quicker they'll cook.
Here are the potatoes I added to fool that friend of mine.
Here's a trick for a richer purée - boil the turnips with milk. I use about 3/4 water and 1/4 milk. You just need enough to cover the veggies. Boil until turnips are easily pierced with a knife, about 15-20 minutes. If you do use milk, be sure to lower the heat to a simmer or the liquid could boil over. (Though I find the wooden spoon trick works well.)
When done, drain and keep a bit of the cooking liquid just in case you need it. If you prefer, you could mash rather than purée, but if you have yourself an immersion blender these couldn't be easier. Just give it a few whirls and you've got yourself puréed turnips. Unlike mashed, I didn't see the need for an addition of cream or butter. Though a swirl of olive oil over top was just right. And if they aren't working out well, slowly work in the cooking liquid.
Use puréed veggies like this as a bed for burgers, meatballs, cuts of meat, green veggies like broccoli or asparagus or even as a sauce, condiment or dip. Get creative.