6 Root Vegetables You Need to Try
Not to be a buzz kill, but as summer starts to come to a close, all those fresh veggies we love — tomatoes, cukes, peppers, etc. — will shortly be making a grand exit. Yes, you'll still find them (though less flavorful and fresh) all year long in the supermarket, but if you're down for expanding your palette and giving seasonal eating a try, it's time to get acquainted with root vegetables. And we're not talk about your everyday potato. There are so many other roots out there just waiting to be discovered.
Root vegetables are available year-round, but fall through spring are when they're truly at their peak. If you're worried that going roots-only in the cooler months means skipping out on some much-needed nutrients, think again. Roots are some of the most nutrient-dense foods out there and they're jam-packed with the same vitamins and minerals found in your standard veggie-repertoire (think: antioxidants, iron and vitamins A, B and C).
When choosing roots from your local farmers' market or grocery store, the harder the better. Look for ones free of bruises and gashes and if buying roots with greens, opt for ones with sturdy, vibrant leaves.
A member of the Brassica family, which also includes broccoli, brussels sprouts and turnips, daikon is a large, white radish with a crisp white flesh and sweet, yet spicy flavor. It's extremely versatile and features frequently in various Asian cuisines and is a banh mi staple. From roasting to braising and pickling, almost anything goes. They also make a delicious addition to salads, soups and stir-fry.
- Crispy Daikon Fries via No Bun Please
- Vietnamese Pickles Carrots & Daikon via White on Rice Couple
- Smita Chandra's Daikon Curry via Saveur
- Daikon Rollups with Miso Mint Pea Filling via Design Sponge
- Lemongrass Pork Sliders with Carrot Daikon Slaw via Slap Yo' Daddy BBQ
- Daikon Noodles with Red Cabbage, Spinach Slaw and Sesame Mustard Dressing via Gourmande in the Kitchen
Don't let this root's extra-terrestrial appearance put you off, what lies beneath that thick skin is a crisp flesh with a slightly spicy flavor, similar to that of a radish. Kohlrabi can be eaten raw, both added to salads or on its own with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper, but the root really shines with a little heat. Mixed into soups, whipped up into puree, roasted or even steamed, it makes delicious and unexpected side dish.
- Grilled Broccoli and Kohlrabi Salad with Smokey Cashew Sauce via Dishing Up the Dirt
- Kohlrabi Schnitzel via Elephantastic Vegan
- Kohlrabi, Apple and Beet Salad via Ottolenghi
- Spicy Kohlrabi Noodles via Love and Lemons
- Mashed Cauliflower and Kohlrabi via The Lemon Bowl
- Kohlrabi Salad with Cilantro and Lime via Feasting at Home
Celeriac is a variety of celery cultivated for its roots. While extremely ugly, the knotty root packs much more oomph than its sleek green cousin and way more versatility. It has a fresh, nutty and sweet taste with a hint of celery flavor and a potato-like texture, which makes for tasty soups, purees and salads.
- Chicken and Asian Pear Salad via Bon Appétit
- Celery Root Chips via The Chicagoist
- Celeriac Gratin via Jamie Oliver
- Celery Root Soup via David Lebovitz
- Apple and Celery Root Slaw via Platings and Pairings
- Celeriac Mash via Paleo Leap
Sunchokes (Jerusalem artichoke)
Nutty and sweet in flavor, sunchokes, or Jerusalem artichokes, lend themselves to decadent soups and purees. Mashed, they'll make you rethink the standard spuds-based version (they're that good) and blanched and roasted or twice-baked, they make a mean side dish to any main.
- Roasted Jerusalem Artichoke via Babaganosh
- Jerusalem Artichoke Gnocchi with Sauteed Kale via Brooklyn Supper
- Artichoke Porcini Tartlets via Camille Styles
- Roasted Beets, Carrots Jerusalem Artichoke with Lemon and the Greenest Tahini Sauce via Bon Appetit
- Jerusalem Artichoke Soup with Scampi via Oh My Dish
You've no doubt heard of rutabaga, but chances are it's never made its way onto your plate. A cross between cabbage and turnips, this large root has a subtle, slightly peppery, earthy flavor and is packed with beta carotene and vitamin A. Rutabaga tastes best when roasted or pureed, developing a rich, balance of savory and sweet. It also makes a great addition to soup and can even be eaten raw in salads.
- Spicy Shrimp and Kale with Creamy Rutabaga via A Calculated Whisk
- BBQ Baked Rutabaga Chips via Cotter Crunch
- Curried Rutabaga Soup with Rye Croutons via From the Land We Live On
- Broccoli and Rutabaga Slaw via The Healthy Foodie
- Mashed Rutabaga with Nutmeg and Chives via In Fine Balance
Yuca Root (Cassava)
A long, starchy potato-like vegetable, yuca is commonly used in Latin American and Caribbean cuisines. It's taste mimics that of a potato with a subtle, sweet flavor. Like many of the other root vegetables described above, it is very versatile and can be grilled, fried, roasted, boiled, baked, steamed and mashed. Yuca contains Prussic acid, which can can cause cyanide poisoning, but proper cooking removes the poison. Yuca can never be eaten raw.
- Cassava with Garlic and Citrus via Saveur
- Pulled Pork Street Tacos with Cassava Flour Tortillas via Downshiftology
- Jamaican Bammy via Hybrid Rasta Mamma
- Colombian Chicken Sancocho via Skinnytaste
- Cassava Cake via Tartine and Apron Strings