WINTER VEGETABLE REVIEW

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Left:Black Radish   Right: A season ends and a season begins with radish, turnip, and tomato salad

Winter is wearing out its last weeks and I’m frantically trying to post my winter veggies before its too late.  What a rich winter it was with the variety of root vegetables that grow in the cold dirt of the north: black radish, turnip “boule d’or,” giant red radish, red beets, romanesco, celery root, parsnips, pumkins, “mash” salad, burdock, sweet potatoes, endives, leeks, not to mention a variety of onions, potatoes, carrots…

I love black radish in the winter. The taste and texture is different from summer radishes, so very much worth trying. I might describe them as somewhat peppery. Here’s a site explaining a few health benefits of the vegetable. Click to check it out.

We fell in love with eating many vegetables raw, sliced or diced to make simple colorful salads to start a meal or play companion to a light lunch.

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Celery root, Fresh Herb Omelette with Steamed Celery Root and Carrot

Romanesco, Veal cooked in “croûte de sel” and spices with baked carrot and potato slices, steamed romanesco, and skillet baked cornbread

Celery root has a wonderful flavor if you’re a fan of celery stalks as I am. These ones were the first of the season, and tiny, so we steamed them whole and served with an omelette.  More often than not, we make soups and purées with celery root. It marries very well with roquefort or a strong bleu cheese.

Romanesco is much like cauliflower or broccoli and takes very well to steaming, in gratin, or raw as a crudité.

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Giant red radish and turnip “Boule d’or”, crudité: raw red beet and giant red radish “flower”

This giant red radish, or perhaps it can be called a Chinese radish, is more delicate in flavor than summer radishes. They have a fresh slighty crunchy inside and are wonderful just sliced and eaten as is.

Boule d’or (ball of gold) turnips are slightly sweet, and we also enjoyed it only in salads, so I’m not sure how it cooks.

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Butter-roasted parsnip and carrot strips

We discovered parsnip last year and are delighted every time we have it. A great way to cook it is to slice lenghwise, spread on a baking sheet, and cover with a few dabs of butter. Cook at 350°F for about 15-20 minutes until they caramelize. Here we cooked them with carrots to add some color. Mmmm!

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Salad of pourpier, endive, and new red lettuce, pumpkin getting ready to be soup

Salad of cooked beets, cooked carrots, and raw radish served with trio of tartelettes: potimarron with hazelnut oil, carrot, and onion gratin, crudité of black radish, fresh cheese, and carrot

Spring is coming and Bastien is starting to come home with tiny heads of different varieties of lettuce. We make lovely little mixes. There was a little pourpier (or “purslane” in English), endives, and a red lettuce.

Pumpkins are fabulous in soupes, purées, grâtiné, and as pie. My favorite variety is called “potimarron.” It has a light chesnut flavor that more common pumkins don’t have.

Here’s a link to a site about root vegetables, with photos. Click here.

Cheers to good winter eating!

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4 comments

  1. girlsgoneveggie

    What a great post. I am also savoring the last of my root vegetables but I am looking forward to spring and the new flavors.
    I think the parsnip is one of my most favorite roots.
    We like it steamed and mashed with a little coconut oil.
    Your roasted parsnips and carrots look beautiful and I may try the last parsnip in the oven.

    • Monica

      Parsnip mashed with a little coconut oil sounds delicious! I’ll try that with my next parsnips! And I hope you try black radish soon!

  2. What fabulous veggies and what fabulous pictures. Looks like you had some absolutely divine dishes. I’ve never tried black radish, but after hearing about it, I totally need to!

  3. Bastien

    Be patient… only a few weeks to wait until we get the first spring veggies… Radishes and beets are already half an inch above ground in the greenhouse !

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