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Dressing Up Root Veggies

Take them from cellar to plate in style

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Crunchy Kohlrabi Slaw

Root veggies have been kept in the dark for too long. Kohlrabi, potatoes, yams, and beetroot go from cellar dwellers to dinner plate superstars.

Hats off to root vegetables! Potatoes, jicama, carrots, turnips, beets—most are available year-round with their peak season running from fall to spring. They make a nutritious, hearty base for these warming winter dishes. Liberate your favourites from the root cellar, and help them shine. Root veggies are roots of plants that are eaten as vegetables. They’re packed with plenty of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fibre. A source of complex carbohydrates, they help you feel full, regulate blood sugar and digestion, and provide oodles of energy. When properly stored in a cool, moist, dark place, they tend to take on a deeper and sweeter flavour. Hardy root veggies maintain their nutrient values longer than other delicate fresh vegetables. We focus on a few staple roots. Experiment and integrate various ingredients to put your own unique stamp on these recipes.

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Recipes

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Introducing kohlrabi

Kohlrabi is part of the cabbage family. It’s a root vegetable that boasts big leafy greens sprouting above a large bulbous root that grows on top of the soil. Kohlrabi is an excellent source of vitamin C, and a good source of thiamine, folate, magnesium, and phosphorus.

Subtle in flavour, crunchy, and quite watery, kohlrabi is a lovely addition to any slaw or salad. It’s delicious sliced or diced, steamed, or roasted all by itself.

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How to store and wash root veggies

  • Store them in the refrigerator in a loosely covered paper bag for up to three or four weeks.
  • Don’t store veggies in plastic.
  • Do not store potatoes in the fridge.
  • Alternatively, store root vegetables in a dark, cool, humid root cellar or basement storage area.
  • Don’t wash root vegetables before you store them.
  • Wash and scrub them just before you use them.
  • Leave nutrient-rich skins intact in young thin-skinned root veggies.
  • Peel older, thick-skinned root vegetables.
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Show lovage some love

The aromatic herb lovage has long been used for culinary and medicinal purposes in Great Britain and the Mediterranean. You can substitute 1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped fresh lovage leaves for celery leaves, and leave out the ground anise seed. Look for lovage at your local farmers’ market.

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