Cooking with Winter Root Veggies
We are rooting for Celeriac, Parsnips, Rutabagas, Sunchokes, Turnips, and Winter Radishes, and you should too!
These roots are not the most celebrated at the winter farmers markets, but we think you should give them a chance.
Yeah, they are typically dirty, knobby, hairy looking and require additional preparation to truly enjoy eating them. They may not have the aesthetic beauty of chicory and radicchio or the popularity of kale, but these roots are the most nutrient-dense vegetables around! They contain a great source of vitamins, iron, and fiber and are chock-full of disease-fighting antioxidants.
Raw or roasted, baked or boiled, steamed or sautéed— there is more than one way to enjoy any of these winter roots! To help you explore using these roots in your meals, our staff has shared their favorite recipes and recommendations for these roots:
Flavor profile: A distinct earthy, slightly nutty taste with a hint of celery-like freshness. Cooking celeriac brings out its sweetness.
Flavor profile: A sweetness similar to a carrot but with an earthy nuttiness. When roasted, it causes the parsnip to take a caramel-like flavor.
- Parsnip Soup with Miso – V, GF
- Chef Thomas Keller’s Creamy Parsnip Purée Recipe
- Chopped Apple Kale Parsnip Salad – V, GF
Flavor profile: Mildly peppery, earthy, a bit bitter and a tiny bit sweet.
Flavor profile: Earthy, nutty flavor comparable to a water chestnut or potato. They develop a more starchy texture with a recognizable artichoke aftertaste when cooked.
Fun fact: Sunchokes contain the carbohydrate inulin that is not digestible, causing bloating and flatulence. Adding lemon juice before cooking will break down the inulin and solve that pesky gas issue.
- Brussels Sprouts & Sunchoke Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette – V, GF
- Sunchoke Salad and Sunchoke Pickles
Varieties: Purple-Top and Hakurei
Flavor profile: The taste of a turnip can vary differently between eaters. Peppery taste mingled with the flavor of cabbage or a plain, semi-sweet flavor with a starchy texture and crunch (like a cross between a potato and carrot).
- Turnip & Kale Gratin
- Lebanese Style Pickled Turnips – V, GF
- Roasted Turnip Hummus – V, GF
- Turnip & Leek Soup – GF
Varieties: Watermelon (pictured), Black Spanish, and Daikon
Flavor profile: Each type can vary from mildly peppery with hints of sweetness to fiercely spicy.
V = Vegan
GF = Gluten-free
And for those times you have a variety of root veg and winter produce….
Roasted Root Vegetable Mélange
Not at all fancy like it sounds, but oh so delicious. Roasting these roots brings out their natural sweetness.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Peel and chops roots into one-inch chunks then toss with a couple of tablespoons of EVOO and coarse kosher salt.
Spread them out on a sheet pan in a single layer.
Roast for 20 – 25 minutes until fork tender.
Serve over polenta, throw them in a grain salad or tuck them into a sandwich, a wrap or a taco.
Winter Slaw by Sarah, rad Accounting & Office Assistant
Julienne parsnip, winter radish, carrot, and apple.
Mix with salt, a bit of ACV or white vinegar, black pepper, and a dash of powdered ginger.
Enjoy it on a fish taco, fried mushroom taco, or anything you’d want a slaw on. It would also be DELICIOUS with some mayo and curry powder. Yum, yum, yum, yum.
Vegan Shepard’s Pie with Roasted Root Mash by Lexi, awesome King & Kenton Farmers Market Manager
I love this recipe for the Shepard’s pie and do a “cook with what you have” style mash with whatever root veg I have on hand. I usually add potatoes to cut a little bit of the flavor and add some creaminess, plus lots of herbs (thyme, rosemary, etc.)!
Why not give celeriac, parsnips, rutabagas, sunchokes, turnips, and winter radishes a chance this weekend?
PSU Farmers Market is this Saturday, 9 am – 2 pm brimming with farm-fresh winter produce and local food products.
Need some more root veg inspiration? Ask farmers or their market staff about how to prepare these less popular roots! They typically have some great recipes and tips to share.