Don’t think you need to give up eating local just because the weather turns cold. In many places, it’s possible to source locally-grown root vegetables all winter long. In fact, it might even be possible to find a winter season CSA (community supported agriculture) subscription near you. (Check out a local farms listing and CSAs at Local Harvest.)
But what you may not know is how else to use root vegetables besides roasting them. Don’t get me wrong, roasted root vegetables are quite tasty, but it can get tiring to eat them every night of the week. Instead, get inspired to experiment with your cooking methods and eat more root vegetables this season with these ideas.
Alternatives to Roasted Root Vegetables
- Soup and Stews – Whether adding turnips to a mixed vegetable soup or making a creamy parsnip soup, the heartiness of root vegetables easily lend themselves to soups and stews.
- Fresh in Salads – Some root vegetables can be eaten raw–like beets, kohlrabi, and carrots. Add thin shaved slices of golden beets, shredded multicolor carrots, or chopped matchstick slices of kohlrabi to a simple salad of mixed greens to add crunch, sweetness, and an earthy flavor.
- Fries – One of my favorite things to do with root vegetables is to make fries out of them because everything tastes awesome fried! Basically, pick your root vegetable of choice–kohlrabi, parsnips, and rutabaga make great fries– and fry them in coconut oil until crisp and slightly browned on the outside.
- Chips – By the same token, go for fried chips by thinly slicing root vegetables with a mandolin slicer and frying them in oil. Again, coconut oil is the best oil for frying. Sweet potato chips tossed in a mixture of cumin, paprika, and salt, are so, so yummy.
- Mashes and Purees – Turn root vegetables into a healthier version of mashed potatoes, or go with even a smoother version to make a puree. I like to make up a batch of root vegetable mash or puree that we can eat on all week long–we just add some protein and a salad to round it out for an easy weeknight meal.
- Hash – Saute a mix of root vegetables along with ground meat, or a meat substitute (like tofu), and other vegetables like peppers, tomatoes, shredded kale, and onions to make a hash suitable for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
- Spanish Tortilla – As anyone who has been out for tapas knows, a traditional Spanish tortilla is like a frittata cooked atop thick slices of browned potatoes. Instead of potatoes, try slices of rutabaga and celery root as the base. Here’s a recipe for a Spanish tortilla as a guide.
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Beet salad image via Shutterstock