Down to the roots

October 31, 2007

The pickup: It’s root season, that time when gardens and CSAs proffer up a wide selection of edible things that grow underground. Parsnips, turnips, kohlrabi, fennel bulbs, carrots, potatoes, leeks, onions . . . it’s all down and dirty, at least until it hits the kitchen sink.

Root vegetables are a sign of fall.

The results: Roasted root vegetables, also known as root bakes, are one of the easiest ways to tackle a pile of hard, bumpy tubers and bulbs. Wash, pare, and chop the veggies. Toss everything in a baking dish with olive oil, salt, pepper, and maybe rosemary and a few cloves of garlic, and roast for half an hour at 425 degrees. Done.

Don’t care for oven bakes? Try the stovetop method, a k a soup. You can get all Deborah Madison on your soup, making a matching stock beforehand, or you can just cook a mess of veggies together, add some stock, and call it good. Try Carrot-Ginger Soup, for example: it’s nothing more than a pile of carrots, onion, garlic, ginger, stock, and seasonings. Purée it smooth, garnish it prettily, and your guests will call you Master Chef.

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