Root Vegetables



Before refrigeration was common, most people had root cellars at home. The cellar might be underground, in the side of a hill or covered by a sturdy shed to keep food— mostly root vegetables—from freezing during winter and spoiling in the hot summer months. Few of us have root cellars anymore, but we still like eating the easy-to-store vegetables. Carrots, beets and onions are among the most common root vegetables, but others—parsnips, celeriac or jicama—are worth considering, too. F&W's guide offers recipes for every season and introduces you to unfamiliar root vegetables from other cuisines (think yuca or taro).

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Chile-Mint Parsnips

The key to tender parsnips is removing the fibrous core. It’s simple to do once the parsnips are quartered; just slice away the tough center of each piece. Barberries offer a punchy sourness to these earthy, sweetly spiced parsnips. Substitute unsweetened dried cranberries or cherries if barberries are unavailable.
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Ginger- and Molasses-Glazed Root Vegetables

I’ve been an avid reader of Food & Wine magazine since the beginning. And for 38 of those 40 years, I was privileged to work frequently in the Food & Wine Test Kitchen with many remarkable cooks. As you can imagine, I have come to love the recipes in this magazine, and I have made them countless times over the decades. But there are a few recipes that I love so much that they’ve joined the rotation at our house. Some have even become members of the holiday pantheon, and we all know what an honor and a privilege that is! There hasn’t been a Thanksgiving since the mid-1980s that hasn’t included these savory (and just a little bit sweet) root vegetables that I found in F&W way back in 1985. They’ve even joined other F&W recipes on the menu when we hosted elaborate Christmas dinners for our circle of struggling actor friends. I realize root vegetables don’t strike most people as sexy, but this recipe takes these workhorses of the winter kitchen—carrots, turnips, and parsnips—and turns them into a dish fit even for the most celebratory of holidays. As a child, I hated cooked carrots. And turnips and parsnips never had a place at our family table. But the alchemy of ginger, garlic, and molasses makes these so good that not only does everyone ask for seconds, but I’ve taken to writing out the recipe before dinner because it’s inevitably demanded by multiple guests. The original recipe didn’t include parsnips, but I added them because they bring a wonderful depth of flavor that contrasts beautifully with the carrot’s simpler sweetness. The turnips bring their own spicy crunch to the party. I also changed the cut of the vegetables from a very 1980s matchstick to simpler, more modern half-moons. This change of shape allows the vegetables to retain a bit more of the crunch we all appreciate. Spicy, sweet, savory with a nice crunch … What more could one want or expect from a side dish that deserves to be at the center of the table?
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Lemon-Pickled Carrots and Beets

This golden salad from chef Biju Thomas marinates beets and carrots in fresh lemon and Korean red pepper flakes. The lemon perks up the sweet, earthy vegetables with acidity, while the gochugaru adds just the right amount of sweet heat and color. Slideshow: More Pickled Vegetable Recipes
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Boiled Yuca with Garlicky Onions

Yuca, or cassava, is a starchy tuber that can be boiled, fried, or baked like a potato. For this Cuban side dish, photographer Romulo Yanes likes to simmer the root until tender and flaky then dress it in a hot onion- and garlic-infused oil. Slideshow: More Cuban Recipes
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Bok Choy, Shiitakes, and Root Vegetables in Dashi

Dashi, a Japanese broth steeped with salty kombu and super-savory katsuobushi, is the foundation for this simple, nourishing soup from Eric Wolfinger. We love the combination of meaty shiitakes, sweet turnips, and crisp bok choy, but feel free to use any vegetables that are in season. Slideshow: More Bok Choy Recipes
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More Root Vegetables

Simple Roast Carrots with Lemon

At Thanksgiving, F&W’s Justin Chapple serves these carrots because they require fewer than five ingredients and pair nicely with just about anything. Justin cooks them the day before and refrigerates them on an oven-safe serving platter, that way they can be reheated in the oven and go right to the table. Slideshow: More Thanksgiving Carrot Recipes
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Easy Root Vegetable Recipes

Beets, carrots, turnips, radishes and more incredible root vegetables are on the menu in this cooking guide. Try your hand at recipes such as turnip casserole with porcini crumb topping, smoky vegetarian beet reubens, fried parsnip ribbons and more.
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Chicken-Fat-Roasted Vegetables with Gremolata

For extra flavor, bloggers Melissa and Jasmine Hemsley toss their vegetables in chicken or duck fat before roasting, then top them with a bright, lemony mix of parsley and minced garlic. Slideshow: More Roasted Vegetable Recipes