Demystifying Root Vegetables

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Between November and April it seems like nothing but root vegetables are available at the farmers market, but don’t write them off -- these tubers are anything but boring. Locavore chef and cookbook author Louisa Shafia takes the mystery out of red and yellow beets, celery root and turnips, and demonstrates some of her favorite ways to roast them for a quick, flavorful side dish or meal.

Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Louisa Shafia, on eHow.com. Today, we're going to talk about root vegetables. Root vegetables are what's around basically from November through April in much of the country. They're what we have to cook with but they're really fun, they're really diverse and they're really good for you. So I have some cool ones here today that I want to show you. I have some yellow beets. These are really beautiful when you cut them open. They're very common now. You can find them easily. They cook just the way you would cook a red beet but look at this gorgeous color and that really stays with them as they cook. So I love that. I also have some red beets that I'm going to show you how to roast in a second. I have these guys which look really scary but they're actually not intimidating at all. These are celery roots and once you get rid of all this ugly exterior there's a wonderful white vegetable under here that basically tastes just like celery. I'm going to show you my favorite method for roasting beets and all I'm going to do is I'm going to take my whole beets. All I did was chop off the leaves and any stems and just poke some holes in it with a fork, a few holes here and there and then I just put my whole beets in a roasting pan with a splash of water, cover them tightly and let them roast for about an hour until they're fork tender and then you just peel off the skin with your hands, really simple. I also have some turnips here and these are really interesting. These can actually be eaten raw and you can just peel them and get rid of this skin and the taste that you'll find inside is kind of gingery, kind of spicy. It's a lot like a radish. These are really wonderful and here's one that I cut open earlier. This is what they look like inside. Um, they are so good. I like to use them in salads. I also like to roast them. So, for roasting, I just dice this up. You can do a big chunky dice and you can do a mix. I'm going to add some potatoes because these take about the same amount of time to cook as a potato. Okay I just toss these together, add a little bit of olive oil, some salt and roast these up just the way that you would if you were making roasted potatoes and they are so good. Okay the last thing that I want to show you is celery root and these are really scary looking. I mean, come on if you saw these at the farmer's market you would probably run past it because it looks like some kind of monster. However, if you cut off this outer skin inside is this beautiful white vegetable and you can roast this just like you would any other root vegetable. You could also eat it raw and it basically tastes just like green celery. Now, if you're going to roast these, I would mix them with a different root vegetable because they're a little bit bitter. That's it, really simple to use. So I hope this gives you a good idea about starting to cook with root vegetables. They're really easy to use, really delicious and really good for you. I'm Louisa Shafia. I'll see you next time on eHow.com.

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