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Root Vegetables

Root vegetables are underground plant parts that comprise a substantial part of year round vegetable crops. Root vegetables are rich in flavor, economical, versatile and especially good from October to March when our bodies crave heartier fare. Consider the list of vegetables pulled from below ground; potatoes, garlic, carrots, radishes, onions, beets, sweet potatoes, yams, turnips and many more. Root vegetables are staples of winter crops and are used in all aspects of restaurant menus-salads, soups, entrees, stews and as substantial side dishes. While the more common roots-potatoes, carrots, beets-are used year round, it is during the colder months that the less glamorous roots appear-turnips, parsnips, celery root, rutabagas and sunchokes. These lesser known roots are often referred to as lowly vegetables, not so much because of their below ground location, but rather of their overall status in the vegetable kingdom. These roots have enjoyed a renaissance of sorts and are now more prevalent in winter recipes and menus than in recent years. In general, root vegetables are low in calories, contain virtually no fat and add fiber and vitamin C to daily diets. The more deeply colored roots-carrots and beets offer beta carotene (vitamin A) and antioxidants that contribute to good health.

Beets

Beets

Beets come in a few different shapes and jewel-like colors.  The most remarkable being the Chioggia beet with its red and white striped, or bulls-eye, cross section.

Carrot, Nantes

Carrot, Nantes

Nantes are a French heirloom variety with an almost perfectly cylindrical shape, rounded at the top and root ends, and are distinctly sweeter than other carrots.

Celery Root aka Celeriac

Celery Root aka Celeriac

Distinct from celery, the plant is bred for its dense, fleshy, bulbous white root.

Fennel

Fennel

Fennel is crunchy and slightly sweet, with an anise-like flavor. It is composed of a white or pale green bulb from which closely superimposed stalks are arranged.

Fingerling Gold Potato

Fingerling Gold Potato

Fingerling potatoes, so named because they resemble fingers.

Fingerling Purple Potato

Fingerling Purple Potato

They don't taste much different from regular fingerling potatoes but they are beautiful to work with.

Fingerling Red French Potato

Fingerling Red French Potato

The French fingerling is a petite, sleek and slender heirloom potato.

Fingerling Russian Banana Potato

Fingerling Russian Banana Potato

Known for their rich, buttery taste, yellow skin and flesh, the popular Russian Banana fingerling potato is typically measures about two and one-half inches long and one inch in diameter, but also harvested when it is four to five inches long.

German Butterball Potato

German Butterball Potato

An undisputed favorite heirloom for superior flavor, storage, and versatility; Russet-type with rich, golden, slightly flaky flesh.

Horseradish

Horseradish

This primitive looking member of the mustard family has a unique flavor and is virtually odorless until cut open or grated. Once grated, fresh horseradish has a distinct bite similar to that of prepared horseradish..

Marble Potato

Marble Potato

Young, tender bite-size potatoes. Marble potatoes need very little prep, just boil, blanch or fry whole.

Onions, Spring

Onions, Spring

Spring onion means a fresh onion of any type — yellow, white, or red — that has started to form a bulb but is not fully mature. The ends of these new onions tend to look like small lightbulbs.

Parsley Root

Parsley Root

Parsley root is related to parsnips, a beige carrot like root with a carrot-celery flavor, but should not be confused with parsnips, even though they look very similar.

Parsnip

Parsnip

Resembling a top heavy, ivory colored carrot with a sweet, nutty flavor, parsnips are a traditional winter vegetable. Cold weather is responsible for the flavor as the cold turns the starches into sugars.

Princess La Ratte Potato

Princess La Ratte Potato

Harvested in spring or early summer, new potatoes are the youthful version of the more familiar adults.

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