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).

Most Recent

Carrot Cake Marmalade with Yogurt and Fresh Fruit

Rating: Unrated
At Molly’s Rise and Shine in New Orleans, diners rave about the yogurt bowl topped with sunny roasted carrot marmalade. This take on chef Mason Hereford’s marmalade gets big flavor from stewing carrots and apple with cinnamon, cardamom, and star anise for a warmly spiced result.

Oto (Mashed Yam Patties)

Puna yam (not to be confused with sweet potato) is the star of this Ghanaian dish often served on wedding days. Puna yams are starchy; it’s essential to avoid overcooking them in order to make shaping the patties easier. Their unique texture and flavor make them worth seeking out for this recipe; see sourcing info below.

Grilled Verona Radicchio with Bottarga and Wild Apple Molasses

A drizzle of tart apple molasses tames this elegant starter of charred radicchio stuffed with butter and bottarga. Radicchio rosso di Treviso can be substituted for Verona, but keep in mind that the head and leaves are less compact.

Puntarelle-Citrus Salad with Roasted Beets

Puntarelle stays bright and crisp in this salad, while beets bring a tender, earthy sweetness. Puntarelle is a specialty buy—check your local farmers market, or substitute another bitter chicory.

Carrots en Croûte

This filling appetizer stars curry-and honey-roasted carrots wrapped in flaky puff pastry. For best results, look for carrots that are 5 to 6 inches in length. Pre-roasting carrots with curry and thyme balances their natural sweetness with rich, savory flavor, making them a satisfying stand-in for sausages.

More Root Vegetables

Rutabaga, Celery Root, and Potato Gratin

Rating: Unrated
This recipe for a three-root gratin is reinvigorated by a hearty combination of rutabaga and celery root. Rutabaga and celery root bring an earthy depth and an engaging, subtle sweetness, giving a classic gratin a flavorful lift. Classic gratins lean on heaps of Gruyère; here, robust Parmigiano-Reggiano cuts in with more intense flavor, accentuating the root vegetables instead of smothering them. The salty bite of the Parmesan, along with the brightness from the celery root, transforms what could be a stodgy side into a reimagined classic that will have you coming back for seconds. Use a mandoline to slice the vegetables for best results.

Carrot Steaks with Roasted Garlic Hollandaise

Chef Kate Williams’ beautifully layered carrot steaks at Lady of the House in Detroit are a mainstay on her menu. Here, she’s shared an at-home riff using large horse carrots, balancing their natural sweetness with plenty of salt and lemon. The silky hollandaise drizzle comes together easily using a blender, which virtually guarantees an effortless sauce.

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?