Local Root Vegetables

During the darkest days of winter, we turn to the local root vegetables to get our vegetable fix. The roots are a large group of vegetables including carrots, radishes, potatoes, parsnips, turnips, beets and more that are great storage crops and delicious in a variety of dishes. 

Nolan, our produce manager, recently talked to us about his local favorite root vegetables available this season.

Nolan's Top Picks

Carrots from Featherstone Farm

Watermelon Radishes from Shared Ground Farmers Co-op

Gold Beets from Keewaydin Farm

Parsnips from Shared Ground Farmers Co-op

Celeriac (celery root) from Harmony Valley Farm

Nolan's favorite way to eat these roots is to roast them. When roasting, the more the merrier. Roasted vegetables make handy leftovers. 

Our favorite uses for roasted root vegetables

As a salad over a bed of arugula

• As a meal over white beans, rice, or lentils with a herby yogurt sauce 

• As a breakfast hash with fried eggs over top 

• Pureed into a roasted vegetable soup

Recipes for raw roots

In the middle of winter, I often crave the color and the crunch of raw vegetables. These easy combinations make a perfect winter lunch. 

• Soba noodles with jullienne sliced carrots, watermelon radishes, and kimchi

• Spinach salad with shredded beets 

Fermented Root Vegetables

A great way to preserve your roots and aid your digestion is to ferment them. All root vegetables can be fermented with delicious results. With its bright colors, watermelon radish makes a beautiful and seasonal ferment, perfect for an appetizer tray. 

For any root vegetable ferment, wash your vegetables thoroughly, peel, and slice evently. Vegetables cut into strips tend to fit better into mason jars. Once vegetables are washed and cut, add spices to the bottom of the jar. Ginger, red pepper flakes, black pepper, tumeric, or fresh herbs all make great choices. Make a brine of 2 tbls salt to 4 cups water. Pack vegetables tightly into your jar or fermentation vessel and pour brine over top. Your vegetables need to submerged with at least one inch of liquid resting over top of them. It is often necessary to weigh the vegetables down with something that fits inside your jar to prevent them from floating to the top. If your using a mason jar, make sure you release the trapped air from your jar every one to two days or don't use a lid and cover your ferment with a cheesecloth or tea towel.