Good Roots: A Guide to Root Vegetables

Good Roots: A Guide to Root Vegetables

Article sourced from Cooking Light

BEETS

Oft-overlooked and frequently underappreicated, root vegetables are among the most delicious specimens of earth’s bounty. They’re versatile, inexpensive, and brimming with healthy vitamins and minerals. That makes them a welcome addition to any plate all year round.

Flavor: Very sweet and earthy. Golden have a milder taste than red varieties.

Peak Season: June to November

Look for: Small to medium firm beets with smooth skin. If you plan to cook the beet greens, they should be crisp and a vibrant dark green color. Slight wilting in the greens is OK.

Storage: Trim greens; refrigerate roots in a plastic bag up to 3 weeks.

Perks: Great source of folate and betaine

 

SUNCHOKES

Flavor: Slightly sweet and nutty

Peak Season: October to March

Look for: Firm, unblemished ‘chokes with minimal knobs. Avoid any soft roots and those with wrinkled skin.

Storage: Wrap in paper towels, and refrigerate up to a week.

Perks: High calcium content; vitamins A and C, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus

 

RUTABAGAS

Flavor: Rutabagas have a rich, buttery quality and are very similar to turnips in flavor (rutabagas are a hybrid of turnips and cabbage).

Peak Season: September to June

Look for: Smooth, firm skin. Choose rutabagas that are heavy for their size. Avoid any with bruises or cuts.

Storing: Refrigerate in a plastic bag up to 2 weeks.

Perks: Vitamins A and C

 

CELERY ROOT

Flavor: Celery root tastes like a cross between peppery celery and parsley.

Peak Season: October to April

Look for: Firm, medium-sized roots that feel heavy for their size. For easier peeling, go for ones with minimal knobs and rootlets. Avoid those with soft spots, as this is a sign of decay.

Storing: Refrigerate in a plastic bag 7 to 10 days.

Perks: Vitamin B, calcium, and iron

 

TURNIPS

Flavor: Young turnips have a delicate sweetness that intensifies as they age.

Peak Season: October to March

Look for: Firm skin and bright, leafy greens. Choose roots that feel heavy for their size. Avoid any larger than 3 inches in diameter.

Storing: Trim greens; refrigerate roots in a plastic bag up to 1 week. Wash and peel before use.

Perks: High in vitamin C and offer vitamin B6, manganese, and potassium

 

PARSNIPS

Flavor: Sweet, earthy, and herbal

Peak Season: November to March

Look for: Small to medium firm, well-shaped roots with creamy-beige skin. Avoid limp, shriveled, or spotted roots, or any with tops that are beginning to sprout.

Storing: Wrap in paper towels, and refrigerate in a plastic bag up to 2 weeks. Rinse and gently peel before cooking.

Perks: High in potassium, folic acid, and vitamin C