Monday, January 10, 2011

Dig into Seasonal Root Vegetables!

Root vegetables are hearty, healthy and in season right now. Though many of us are unfamiliar with popular root veggies like the parsnip, rutabaga and turnip, they're all easy to prepare and delicious when glazed and roasted. They're also perfect additions to soups and stews.

Parsnips are close relatives to carrots, but are lighter in color and sweeter when cooked. Parsnips thrive in colder climates and the Ancient Romans found that the further north they brought the parsnip, the larger it grew. When it comes to nutrition, parsnips are richer in vitamins and minerals than carrots and have particularly high levels of Potassium and Fiber.

The rutabaga is a cross between cabbage and turnips. Rutabagas originated in Scandinavia and Russia and are commonly eaten mashed, in stews, or as a side dish. Nutritionally, rutabagas have a ton of Vitamin C, Folate and Fiber.

Turnips are a popular root vegetable eaten across the world. Best of all, the tops a.k.a. turnip greens are also a tasty side dish popular in the UK and Southeastern US. While the bulbs are high in Vitamin C, the tops are a good source of Vitamin A, Folate, Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Calcium

To find the best seasonal dishes featuring root veggies, we powered up the FoodPair search engine and found some great options that are tasty and easy to make.

Rutabaga and Carrot Puree
A tasty break from all those mashed potatoes.
Ingredients in this recipe: butter, carrot, brown sugar, kosher salt, rutabaga

Glazed Root Vegetables
Did you know you could boil root veggies in under 10 minutes?
Ingredients in this recipe: honey, butter, turnip, water, kosher salt, rutabaga, Italian parsley

Cider-Glazed Root Vegetables
It's also easy to roast root veggies in the oven.
Ingredients in this recipe: butter, carrot, parsley, brandy, apple cider, parsnips, rutabaga

Turnip Greens
Don't forget, the green turnip tops are a Southern delicacy.
Ingredients in this recipe: sugar, turnip, salt, water, salt pork, margarine

Dad's Turkey Stew
Root veggies flavor this hearty turkey stew.
Ingredients in this recipe: olive oil, carrot, turnip, celery, salt, black pepper, vegetable stock, herbs, yellow onion, potatoes, turkey thigh, rutabaga

Roasted Rib Eye with Herbed-Mustard Sauce & Root Vegetables
Root veggies are great alongside a juicy steak.
Ingredients in this recipe: olive oil, mustard, carrot, turnip, pearl onion, rutabaga, ribeye steak

Time to start digging up those root veggies and giving them a chance to shine!

Any other favorite ingredients or dishes you'd like us to highlight? Post them in the comments section or on our Facebook page! And while you're at it, "Like" us on Facebook to get helpful updates in your news feed.