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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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Rutabaga

At first glance, this uncommon root vegetable looks like an overgrown turnip that got a suntan. It sometimes goes by the name Swedish or yellow turnip, but this relative to the turnip really has its own thing going on. Rutabagas are larger and starchier and mellow out quite nicely when cooked. Given its higher starch content, it can be used in place of potatoes, whether it be mashed, roasted or puréed. Or, skip the cooking altogether and serve rutabaga raw in this salad:

Rutabaga

Rutabaga, apple and fennel salad recipe

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, minced
  • 1 rutabaga
  • 2 Granny Smith apples
  • 2 fennel bulbs
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Prepare the dressing in a large bowl by whisking together the apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, tarragon and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  2. Trim off a half an inch from each end of the rutabaga. 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. Thinly slice the rutabaga, fennel and apples and immediately place in the bowl with dressing to prevent discoloring. Toss well and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. To serve, pull the salad out of the bowl using tongs or your hands and transfer to another bowl or platter (there may be a little leftover dressing).

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