Recipes using root vegetables

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Whatever you call them, vegetables that grow underground absorb nutrients from the soil to nourish the plant during the colder months. When we eat the roots, we consume the nutrients intended for the plant. Many root vegetables are also high in fiber, and some are part of the Brassica family, an incredibly diverse group of vegetables that is well known for containing cancer-fighting antioxidant nutrients that help boost the immune system.

That’s not to say that root vegetables don’t have dietary detractions. Some root vegetables are starchy and high in carbs like potatoes. If you’re trying to limit your carbs due to a health condition or if you’re trying to limit weight gain, you’ll need to consider this. However, when we get to the bottom of the problem, they are not always to blame! We’re more likely to top the potatoes with bacon and sour cream; bathe the carrots with butter and honey; and simmer turnip roots and greens with a piece of salt pork or bacon. As the saying goes, “all things in moderation”.

ExploreJapanese stew makes good use of root vegetables

And, if you “eat with the seasons,” you’re more likely to benefit from their higher nutritional value and optimal flavor. So grab some knotty, gnarled root vegetables and stir up your winter side dish repertoire with these recipes.

Virginia Willis is an Atlanta-based Food Network Kitchen chef, James Beard Award-winning food writer, and author of seven cookbooks. Follow her on


Root vegetables are in the spotlight, not next, with recipes for Daikon “Crostini” with prawn salad, turnip soup with chive cream, carrot and beetroot salad with lemon vinaigrette and sweet potato crisp .

Daikon “Crostini” with Shrimp Salad

Typically, boiled prawns are cooked in a seasoned liquid, then drained and rinsed under cold running water, which effectively removes some of the flavor. If you have time, a better way is to chill them in a serving of the flavorful cooking liquid, as shown in this recipe. If time does not permit, simply start with pre-cooked shrimp.

Daikon is the Japanese name for the vegetable (from dai, meaning “big”, and kon, meaning “root”). In Asia, there are many types of daikon, but we are most familiar with the long white tubular root. A type of radish, daikon has a crunchy texture with a slightly peppery bite. It works well in salads and coleslaws, and is often made into a quick pickle. Thinly sliced ​​daikon is a great gluten-free vehicle for spreads and dips, like with this “crostini” shrimp salad.

Turnip Soup with Chive Cream

White turnip roots are about the size of a baseball or slightly smaller and creamy white in color, often with a hint of pale purple on top. The smaller turnips, named Hakurei or Tokyo, are pure white. once found at farmers markets, these Japanese turnips are increasingly available in grocery stores. This soup uses old-fashioned white turnips to make it easier to prepare. Large roots are easier to peel and chop than small Japanese turnips.

Carrot and Beet Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

Try using small beets for this recipe; they will be sweeter and more tender than large beets. You can use a food processor to grate the vegetables, but be sure to shred the carrots first. To prevent the beets from staining the carrots, chop the beets before combining. The oil in the dressing seals in its red pigments, called betalains, which do not dissolve in the oil and therefore do not discolor the carrots.

Crispy sweet potatoes

Most southern sweet potato side dish recipes have almost enough butter and sugar to serve as a dessert, so I thought I’d go a step further and make one!

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