Get Back to Your Roots - Vegetarian Times

Get Back to Your Roots

Root vegetables provide an abundance of savory recipe options between seasons
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Get Back to your Roots

With fall's harvest fading from memory and spring's bounty still waiting to show its colors, there's no better time than now to dig up the delicious possibilities root vegetables offer. Insulated from the elements and nurtured by the soil's nutrients, these underground wonders develop better flavor when it's chilly and damp out—the cool temperatures convert root vegetables' starches to sugar and make them sweeter.

Carrots, turnips, and potatoes may be the mainstay of most root vegetable recipes, but there's a lot to be gained by trying some of their knobby, nubbly cousins, found alongside them in grocery store cases and farmers' market bins.

The following recipes will help you unearth the secrets to cooking with lesser-known roots and keep your meals exciting all year-round.

Roots We Dig

Beets Raw or roasted, their earthy, sweet flavor far outshines the canned variety.
Try them in: Salads

Burdock These long, thin Asian favorites stay crisp after cooking for a texture that's a lot like water chestnuts.
Try them in: Salads, stir-fries, and sushi rolls

Celery root Once peeled, the large knob reveals a creamy white flesh that tastes like a milder, sweeter version of the stalks.
Try it in: Grated slaws and salads, roasted vegetable medleys, soups, stews, and mashed potato recipes

Daikon radishes These pale white Asian roots taste a lot like their little red cousin, though they can sometimes be spicier.
Try them in: Salads, stir-fries, and pickle recipes, such as Pickled Daikon Cubes with Carrots and Jalapeños from vegetariantimes.com

Jerusalem artichokes or sunchokes The sweet, artichoke-like flavor of these veggies fromthe sunflower family gives them their name.
Try them in: Roasted vegetable medleys, stir-fries, or the Sunchoke and Potatoes recipe on vegetariantimes.com

Jicama It looks like a large, round potato, but jicama's crisp crunch tastes more like cucumber.
Try it in:Salads and tacos, or cut into sticks for a snack

Parsnips Their delicate taste, a cross between carrots and parsley, makes these veggies a cold-weather favorite.
Try them in: Soups, stews, roasted vegetable medleys, and recipes for mashed potatoes

Rutabagas With a milder, sweeter flavor and a creamier texture than turnips, rutabagas are a gardener's favorite because they're so easy to grow.
Try them in: Soups, stews, roasted vegetable medleys, and recipes for mashed potatoes