Rooting for Roots

Rainbow carrots, parsnips, celeriac and swede…it’s certainly looking like a (dare-we-say-it) winter root vegetable week. Very thankful for the red kuri squash which tells us that we are still in autumn albeit with some very relentless rain. Great for the organic green waste compost to mature over winter in preparation for next year’s growing season though.

Winter plus roots means it’s time to get the oven going if you haven’t already.  If ever in doubt with root vegetables simply roast them as it really sweetens and intensifies the flavours.

Peel or scrape the skins off if you like – lots of flavours and nutrients there though even if a little uncouth. Then cut into cubes or batons (especially good cut for carrots and parsnips, don’t worry if they are somewhat irregular as the skinny bits will caramelise sweetly whilst the fatter bits will soften to a melt-in-your-mouth texture). Here are a few options to add after tossing in some oil (add some crushed garlic if you like) before roasting at 200 to 220 deg C until golden brown and tender:

  • Top with some thyme and sea salt
  • Drizzle with maple syrup or honey
  • Toss with a little mustard, and finish with a drizzle of honey
  • Spice with coriander, cumin and turmeric

Perfect with a roast but also pairs well with pan-fried or grilled fish. If you have leftovers (or if you fancy soup instead) fry some chopped onions with olive oil and/or butter, add some stock and milk/cream if you like, bring to boil and then blend to soup when the vegetables are soft. You could even roast some onions with the roots to save yourself some extra work! Or for some variation for the week you could roast with thyme and then fry some spices with the onions for a soup with the leftovers.

An alternative would be to boil one or more of the roots (you could also add some apples if you’ve still got some left) until tender, drain and then purée with butter and milk/cream (double cream if going for richness). The various options suggested above also works for purée.

If you’ve gotten this far, try asking your French friend how they like parsnips (they don’t really eat them over there, preferring turnips instead… hmm, pourquoi you ask?!?), apparently native to Britain. And try asking an American friend what “rooting” means to them, and now try asking the same of your Aussie friend…

This Week’s Bounty

Standard Box
* Washed Bakers, Lincs
* Rainbow Carrots, Lancs
* Leek, Kent
* Swiss Chard, Perry Court
* Swede, Kent
Parsnip, Kent
Celeriac, Kent
Red Kuri Squash, Perry Court
Small Box
Items starred (*) above

No-Potato Substitute
Golden Beetroot, Lancs

Fruit Supplement
Mandarins, Spain (standard box only)
Plums, Spain


9 thoughts on “Rooting for Roots

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