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5 Fun root vegetables and ways to use them

Rachel Dreskin is a Brooklyn gal with a passion for seasonal eating, local wine and vintage fashions. She makes regular visits to her local green markets and is constantly in the kitchen experimenting. You can find her favorite tips and ...

Utilize winter's bounty

Winter has a lot more to offer aside from carrots and potatoes. Hardy root vegetables that grow completely underground are bountiful during the colder seasons. They can be spicy or mild, sweet or savory, or some combination thereof. For a fun switch up from the usual, try integrating one or more of these under-utilized root vegetables into your winter recipes.
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Celery root

Also known as celeriac, celery root is slowly gaining popularity among restaurant chefs and home cooks. This gnarly and knobby vegetable is not exactly a looker in its original state, but the flesh boasts a lovely fresh flavor that tastes like a cross between parsley and -- you guessed it -- celery. It is packed with fiber and magnesium, as well as vitamins A, C, K and E. Try it in a winter soup, grated and served raw in salads or puréed such as in the recipe below:

Celery root

Celery root purée recipe

This is a lighter and fresher alternative to mashed potatoes. Serve this celery root recipe with a more delicate protein, such as seared sea scallops or tilapia.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium celery roots (about 2 pounds total)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 1-1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1-1/2 cups whole milk
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Trim off a half an inch from each end of the celery root. Placing it cut side down to make a stable base, carefully trim the skin from the flesh using a sharp chef's knife, discarding the skin and any brown spots. Chop the flesh into 1/2-inch cubes.
  2. Melt the butter in a pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent. Add in the diced celery root, stock and milk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes, or until celery root is very tender.
  3. Working in batches, purée mixture in a blender until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

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