As cooks across the country fire up their grills, they have begun selecting their choice of American cooking techniques to employ. For many, that means pulling out a choice cut of steak and whipping up a potato side. While a juicy grilled steak and potato dish is a classic, you can change it up a bit by serving unique and creative sides. Consider one of these great alternatives for traditional mashed potatoes:
Celery root mash
Celery root is a healthy alternative to potatoes and has a delicate flavor. Many chefs puree this vegetable when pairing it with steak, but you can get a little more rustic with it by cooking up a mash. All you need is celery root, skim milk, olive oil, fresh sage, salt and pepper. Peel and dice the celery root before boiling it in a pot of water. Wilt the sage leaves with salt and pepper in a saute pan and then combine all the ingredients in a large bow. Using a fork or potato masher, begin to crush the ingredients until you get a consistency akin to chunky mashed potatoes.
Another healthy ingredient, cauliflower is a flavorful alternative to potatoes. Boil a head of cauliflower that has been trimmed and cleaned in a pot of chicken broth. Mash the cooked vegetable, adding grated pecorino Romano or parmesan cheese, as well as a soft herb cheese, such as a seasoned brie. To finish, mix in chives, nutmeg, salt and pepper. When you’re done, you’ll have a side with the vitamin content of a vegetable and the hearty flavor of a potato dish.
Like potatoes you can sink your teeth into? Then you are sure to enjoy this alternative. Roast turnips at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for half an hour. Before you throw them in the oven, toss clean and peeled turnips with salt, pepper and olive oil. Consider sprinkling some rosemary on as well for even more of a flavor kick. When the turnips are done, they’ll make a perfect side for your grilled dinner.
Carrot and parsnip mash
This mashed dish brings together two root vegetables: carrots and parsnips. Both can have a sweet flavor, which you’ll want to temper with olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper. Clean, peel and chop the vegetables before boiling them. They’re done when they are soft enough to stick a fork into. Then mash and add seasonings. This dish goes especially well with grilled red meat such as steak or lamb.