"I just think carrots, particularly their tops and roots, are an artistic wonder," Richard Blais says. "The color, the abstract shape—they're gorgeous." He cooks them in a tangy ginger sauce and then sprinkles them with the flavorful, seaweed-and-sesame-seed-based Japanese seasoning called furikake.
What Top Chef fan could forget CJ Jacobson's soggy, brown Broccolini from Season 3? When challenged to prepare the dish for an airplane meal, CJ overcooked his vegetables so badly that they were unrecognizable—and he got kicked off the show for it. Gail Simmons reinvents the recipe by blanching Broccolini quickly, then sautéing it on the stove with a shallot and adding spicy, lemony, homemade bread crumbs at the very end.
In this salad, tender haricots verts get tossed with crunchy strips of carrot, red pepper and parsnip. When TV personality Rachael Ray (who is originally from upstate New York) visited the Beekman farm, Lee Woolver made a version of this salad with bacon, but it's just as delicious without.
Braised Root Vegetables and Cabbage with Fall Fruit
Chef Alain Ducasse uses six pots to cook each type of vegetable on its own, then layers them in a baking dish. For the simplified version of Ducasse's fruit-and-root-vegetable stew, everything cooks in one big pot.
For this vegetable side, chef Tory Miller's local gin source is Death's Door Spirits in Madison, Wisconsin, a distillery that uses wild juniper berries harvested on Washington Island in Lake Michigan. "I love that they pick all those juniper berries by hand up in Door County," he says.
When roasting winter vegetables, Melissa Rubel Jacobson says be sure to chop them about the same size, so they cook at the same rate. And toss them at least once while they're in the oven, so they brown evenly.
Pan-Roasted Cauliflower with Pine Nuts and Raisins
The late Armenian cookbook author Arto der Haroutunian, who taught Paula Wolfert this dish, caramelized cauliflower on the stove before baking it with eastern Mediterranean flavorings: chopped tomatoes, plumped raisins and Marash red pepper flakes. You can use any cazuela or flameware pot, but Wolfert likes the unglazed black La Chamba roasting pan from Colombia, which she says imparts sweetness to the dish.