Root Vegetables Rock!

The leaves are falling along with the temperatures. Our flavor profiles gravitate from the bounty of summer vegetables and light salads to something heartier. A great way to incorporate these full-bodied flavors is with root vegetables.

Root vegetables are the starchy tubers and taproots of plants. We harvest them before they complete their journey of nourishing a plant to completion. They are sweet, and loaded with vitamins. Potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, turnips, rutabagas, celery root or beets are all root vegetables.

Their tough make-up makes them a prime candidate for roasting, braising, grilling, and stewing. To braise them, scrub the vegetable, cut into bite sized pieces, and cook in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat with 1 1/2 tbs oil, such as olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pour in 1/2-1 cup broth. Cover and reduce heat to maintain a simmer. They should be tender in about 20 minutes. Add fresh herbs or meat and serve over farro, brown rice or egg noodles.

To grill, scrub the vegetables, cut thicker pieces to 1/2 inch thickness and put into a bag or bowl with 1 1/2 tbs oil, garlic and fresh herbs (especially rosemary). Over medium-high heat or coals, place the vegetables on a vegetable grill screen or straight on the grill. I also add onions and Brussels sprouts to my marinade, and grill. I serve them on their own or fold into farro the caramelized flavor is rich and delicious.

Many root vegetables such as beets and carrots make great salad fixings after they have been roasted in the oven. You can even use a grater and shred and eat them raw. Try adding 1/8 cup heavy pulp orange juice or pomegranate juice as well as red pepper flakes or cumin to increase the depth of flavor.

A great part of the vegetable-stars of the fall harvest such as squash and root vegetables is that they last longer in your refrigerator and can be used to throw together a delicious meal, anytime.


beet-citrus-salad-pistachios m2

Beet Citrus Salad With Pistachios:
Cooking Light Magazine
1/2 teaspoon grated orange rind
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (20 ounce) jar refrigerated citrus salad (such as DelMonte), drained
1 (8 ounce) package steamed, ready to eat beets, rinsed, drained and cut into wedges.*
*I roasted my own red + yellow beets, cooled and used. Therefore I control the salt and there are no preservatives.
1/4 cup shelled dry-roasted, unsalted pistachios

-Combine first 6 ingredients; stir with a whisk. Add citrus and beets; toss gently. Sprinkle with pistachios.

Serves 4 (about 3/4 cup serving)
Calories- 156, Fat-6.9g, Carbs-20.3g, Fiber- 2.8g, sodium-141mg, Calcium- 40mg

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