>> Monday, September 30, 2013
The time of year when farmers and gardeners are digging up root vegetables is always a bit exciting for me. When you're pulling up the plants that have been flourishing all summer, you don't know exactly what bounty has been growing under your feet.
With other vegetables, you watch them develop from flower to little swelling nubs to lusty ripe full-grown foods. Root vegetables are more dramatic, growing quietly underground, maybe peeking out a shoulder from a crack in the soil, until their big reveal at the end of their season.
Root vegetables are also some of the most long-storing of all produce, something that people in regions of long cold winters have counted on since the early days of agriculture.
I learned just how important cold storage and root cellars can be to these people when I was researching for my book, The Complete Guide to Food Preservation: Step-by-step Instructions on How to Freeze, Dry, Can, and Preserve Food. Without those methods of storage, many people would not have made it through a winter on a meat and grain diet alone.
This recipe gives you a chance to branch out and try some vegetables you may have passed by in the past. Experiment with any combination of parsnips, turnips, beets, radishes, celery and cassava root, rutabagas, fennel and kohlrabi bulbs, and yams, along with the familiar potatoes, carrots, onions, and garlic. I bet you'll find some new favorite veggies in this mix.
1 tsp prepared horseradish
DirectionsPreheat the oven to 400 degrees. Whisk together the garlic, oil, salt and pepper, rosemary, thyme, parsley, and horseradish. Toss with the vegetables, then spread them out on a baking sheet. We covered the baking sheet with foil to make clean-up easier, but this is optional.
Roast the vegetables at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally so that the veggies don't stick or get too browned on one side. Check the densest vegetables, like parsnips, cassava, or radishes, for tenderness - they will take the longest to cook.