As the weather gets colder and fresh, local produce becomes harder to find. Root vegetables are my go-to to add veggies to a winter meal. Because they grow underground, they absorb lots of nutrients from the soil, and unlike most vegetables, their season lasts well into the fall and winter. In fact, many root vegetables actually taste sweeter after a few frosts, when they convert their starches into sugars.
Turnips can be boiled and mashed like potatoes — give it a try and see if your family can tell the difference. Parsnips and carrots can be prepared in many of the same ways — puréed, fried, in soups, or cold with vinaigrette. Radishes can be eaten raw or cooked, and are often served with dips or in a salad. Beets are delicious shredded over salad, roasted, pickled, or blended with chickpeas to make beet hummus. It’s just as delicious as plain hummus, but extra-healthy (and pink!). Potatoes, beets, turnips, and parsnips are all delicious chopped into bite-size pieces and roasted, along with some sage or rosemary and a few whole garlic cloves. Many root vegetables, including beets, radishes, and turnips, have edible greens, which can be steamed, sautéed, or added to soups or stir-fries.
This month, try our featured recipe: Carrot Romesco.
Recipe by Maura Martin and Austin Racine of Mo’s Lunch
4 cups carrots, scrubbed and roughly chopped
1 med. white onion, roughly chopped
3 med. tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 seeded jalapeño, chopped
1 bell pepper, roughly chopped
½ cup sliced almonds
½ cup olive oil
2 Tbsp. salt
1 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. cumin
few sprigs fresh thyme
⅓ cup water
Preheat the oven to 425°. Combine all ingredients except water on a large sheet tray, and toss to coat everything in oil. Roast until the vegetables are quite dark, caramelized and soft, about 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool for about 10 minutes. Remove thyme sprigs.
Scrape all contents of the tray into a food processor or blender, and combine while drizzling in the water a little at a time, until you have a nice, thick purée. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve as a dip with crusty bread and veggies, or as a sauce for scallops, fish, or chicken.