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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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Salsify root

Salsify is one of my absolute favorite root vegetables. This ancient vegetable is nutty, rich and earthy and has a flavor profile that some liken to an artichoke or even an oyster. It comes in two hues: creamy white and bark-like black. Either is delicious and healthful, so don't pass it by if you see it at your local green market. When I find salsify root at the market, I like to make it the centerpiece of the meal. Try it in this creamy soup recipe and serve it with a warm loaf of rustic seedy bread for a positively fantastic winter meal:

salsify root

Creamy salsify soup recipe

Serves 4 

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 pounds salsify root
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 small shallots, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Prepare a bowl of acidulated water (water with a squeeze of lemon in it). Peel salsify, chop into 1/2-inch long pieces and quickly place in the bowl of acidulated water (the acid in the lemon prevents the salsify from discoloring).
  2. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a medium pot. Sauté shallots and garlic until just starting to soften and become fragrant. Add in chopped salsify, stock and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for about 20-25 minutes or until salsify is very tender.
  3. Working in batches, puree in a blender or use a handheld immersion blender. Stir in heavy cream (you may have to increase or lessen the quantity to achieve your desired consistency), season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

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