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

Brown Butter Parsnip Puree
Rating: Unrated 1
At the Brooklyn brasserie Francie, John Winterman and Christopher Cipollone offer this cozy side dish of pureed parsnips. To make it, naturally sweet parsnips are simmered in bay leaf–infused cream until very tender, then pureed in a blender until they take on a silky, mashed potato–like texture. A garnish of diced green apples adds tart, mouthwatering acidity and refreshing crunch, while a generous drizzle of brown butter lends a pleasant richness. At Francie, the parsnip puree is served alongside duck, but it would also be a terrific partner for roast turkey or chicken.
Carrot Cake Marmalade with Yogurt and Fresh Fruit
Rating: Unrated 6
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)
Rating: Unrated 1
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.

More Root Vegetables

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.
This Holiday Root Vegetable Gratin Couldn't Be Creamier
David McCann layers root vegetables into this riff on a holiday classic.
Root Vegetable Tian
Rating: 4.5 stars

For the thinnest, most even slices, rely on a mandoline to cut the layered vegetables in this tian. Spungen recommends a cut-resistant glove to use with your mandoline; they’re simple and safe, and they enable you to slice with confidence.