Used in everything from the Sunday roast to soups and stuffed with vitamins and minerals, theyll even help you fight off the winter blues! Available all year round but really coming into their own when the temperatures drop and we crave those old favorite comfort foods, like casseroles, soups or a thick hearty stew. Lots of us get stuck in a rut, eating just a small selection of vegetables; why not explore some varieties we might not usually consider.
Potatoes are probably the most versatile of the traditional root vegetables, wether its chips, roasted, mashed, sauté or gratin. The humble potato forms the basis of many a hearty soup, high in starch and carbohydrates both needed by our bodies for energy, plus containing many nutrients that help our immune system fight off colds and flu.
Parsnips and turnips have a subtle peppery flavor, but tend to be much underrated and seldom used on the more, dinner party menu. But a little imagination and by simply adding a few simple ingredients , like Garlic, chopped Parsley , chives or even crispy bacon we can turn an otherwise often overlooked vegetable into a real treat.
The same methods can apply to any root vegetables, so go on experiment a little! You may surprise yourself and the family with a meal thats not only healthy, but delicious as well.
Turning our attention to the slightly more unusual root vegetables, the Jerusalem artichoke isnt actually an artichoke at all, its a root vegetable, related, believe it or not, to the Sunflower! It is however a highly versatile food and very tasty, being similar in flavour to the artichoke ( hence the name) cooking methods include, roasting, boiling and mashing, or even grating raw into salads, my favourite way to enjoy them is in a creamy soup, with lots of warm fresh bread.
Celeriac is a type of Celery, not a terribly attractive vegetable in its raw form, it is amazingly good with fish, and either cooked along side the fish in a Bain Marie or boiled and mashed with potatoes adding fresh black pepper, a knob of butter and finally drizzled with olive oil, awesome!
You may not think of carrots as one of the more unusual varieties of root vegetables, but it may surprise you to learn, that carrots come in five different colours! All varieties of carrots however do taste very similar, its only snob value to present your dinner guests with a purple carrot Gratin.
This months recipe page 24, is for one of the all time favourites, Irish stew. Using a selection of traditional root vegetables as the main ingredient its a good old fashioned meal, that as well as being good for you, will be enjoyed by the whole family.
With most varieties of root vegetables being readily available all year round, there is no reason to not get reacquainted with old friends and show the kids, that there is more to the potato than chips!