A ricer makes light work of mashing vegetables. The key to using a ricer is to make sure the vegetables are very soft.
How to rice butternut squash
Peel the squash, cut it into chunks and cook until soft. Press through the ricer, then mash the riced pumpkin with a fork, season and add just enough butter and/or cream, crème fraîche or sour cream to make a soft mash that still holds its shape. To add flavour to the mash, add a bay leaf and 3 or 4 peppercorns to the water in which you boil the squash. Discard them before ricing. Add a tablespoon of maple syrup to the riced squash instead of the cream for a sweeter mash.
How to rice potatoes
Cut the potatoes into chunks but leave the skin on. Boil until soft, then press the potatoes through the ricer, removing the skin after each batch. Mash the riced potatoes with a fork and add 1/3 the quantity of butter to potatoes. Mash well and season. Serve as they are or to make souffléd potatoes, mix a stiff egg white into the mashed potatoes, pour into a baking dish and top with knobs of butter. Bake in a preheated oven at 200C/400F/Gas 6 until the top is golden and puffed.
Ricers are ideal for making puréed vegetables for babies and for anyone who cannot eat solid food.
Which ricer to buy: plastic or stainless steel?
We use both a plastic ricer and a metal one and both work well and are dishwasher-friendly. The plastic ones are cheaper but they can become stained. The stainless steel ones are almost indestructible.
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