Roots To Dine On – Parsnip,

celeriac2During the winter season, root vegetables are cheap to buy. Stored in fruit cellars, or in the back rooms of grocery stores, turnips and celeriac are hidden away until they are brought out to be sold to customers. I remember when I was little our family had a huge garden in our backyard, we planted rows upon rows of root vegetables. You see, we lived in northern Ontario, where our winters went below minus 30 degrees F. Just after the first frost we would dig up all of our root vegetables and put them in sand, then as we savored to eat them, we would pull them out of the sand, wash them off, then prepare them for dinner.

Carrots, parsnips, potatoes, rutabagas, turnips, horseradish, Jerusalem artichoke, are just a few root vegetables that can be grown. Parsnips are a member of the carrot family. Usually they are not harvested until after the first frost. The coldness of the frost changes their starch to sugar, thus making them a sweet vegetable. Irish have used parsnips to make beer. During Tudor England, parsnip flour was used for breakfast. Even cakes and puddings were made from it.

A simple way to prepare root vegetables is to roast them. Set your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit first. Then spray a roasting pan with olive oil. First cut their thick skin off with a paring knife. Next, cut them into thin strips. Try not to make them too thin, but at the same time, try to make them uniform size. By doing so, they will cook evening. Sprinkle one tablespoon of brown sugar over your cut-up root vegetables. Spread about one tablespoon of butter, cut into little pieces , and add to your root vegetables. Don’t forget your spices! Grind fresh black pepper. Add a teaspoon of cumin, and a touch of salt. I prefer to bake without salt, leaving it to the dinner guest to add their own. Bake for twenty minutes, or until soft. If you like, add quartered fresh leeks and beets to your assortment of root vegetables. The purple juices of the beets will spill over all of your tray, making the end result very colorful, especially if love the color purple!

Once you have made this delicious recipe, you will be snagged. If you enjoy going camping, put all of your ingredients into a homemade foil pouch. Simply, wrap your vegetables inside one large piece of foil, large enough to cover all of your ingredients. Place your sealed foil pouch of root vegetables and seasonings, into the white charcoal of your bbq and then relax. Leave them there for less time than you would leave them in your kitchen oven, say, fifteen minutes. Once your other dinner items are done, open up your foil pouch and add your roasted veggies to your dinner plate. Mmmmmmmm good, just the way it should!

Books to check out:

Cucina Simpatica

Buried TreasuresRoots

The Complete Guide to your New Root Cellar

 

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