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       Volume I - October 31, 2008, 2008

Using Root Vegetables
by Patty Liston

Well, we woke up to SNOW this morning. Fortunately, it is gone now, but it served as a reminder that winter is around the corner; time to bring out the coats and hearty home-cook’n recipes. Root Vegetables, like carrots and sweet potatoes are full of nutrients and delicious in winter recipes. Onions, squash and pumpkins all promote healthy heart function, while sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin E, which can improve the look of skin.

Roasted Root Vegetables
From Food Network

1 large butternut squash, (1 1/2 to 2 pounds) halved, seeded and peeled
3 large Yukon gold potatoes (1 1/2 pounds), scrubbed
1 bunch medium beets, (about 1 1/2 pounds), scrubbed and tops trimmed
1 medium red onion
2 large parsnips (about 8 ounces)
1 head garlic, cloves separated, and peeled (about 16)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Place 2 baking sheets in the oven and preheat to 425° F.
Cut all the vegetables into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Cut the onions through the base core to keep some of the layers in chunky pieces. Toss all the vegetables with garlic, olive oil and salt in large bowl. Season generously with pepper.
Carefully remove the heated baking sheets from the oven, brush or drizzle with olive oil. Divide the vegetables evenly between the 2 pans, spreading then out to assure they don't steam while roasting. Roast the vegetables until tender and golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Cook's Note: Some very large parsnips have a pithy core, which should be trimmed before cooking.

  Download this recipe.

Roasted Chicken with Root Vegetables
Emeril Lagasse

Herb Roasted Chicken:
1 (3 1/2 to 4-pound) whole chicken
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon chopped thyme leaves
1/2 tablespoon chopped sage leaves
2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves (reserve the parsley stems)
1/2 cup olive oil
1 lemon, quartered
2 bay leaves

Baby Root Vegetables:
1/4 pound baby turnips, peeled and stem ends trimmed
1/4 pound baby red carrots, peeled and stem ends trimmed
1/4 pound orange carrots, peeled and stem ends trimmed
1/4 pound baby golden beets, peeled and stem ends trimmed
1/4 pound baby beets, peeled and stem ends trimmed
1/4 pound fingerling potatoes, halved
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil

Preheat the oven to 475° F.
Wash the chicken and pat dry. Season well inside and out with the salt and pepper. In a small bowl, combine the garlic, thyme, sage, parsley and olive oil. Rub the olive oil and herb blend into the cavity of the chicken as well as all over the exterior. Place the parsley stems into the cavity of the chicken, and squeeze each lemon quarter into the chicken and place the rind in as well. Put the bay leaves inside the chicken and place the bird in a roasting pan or a saute pan, and put it into the oven. Roast for about 1 hour, or until the chicken is golden brown, and the juices run clear. Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes before carving.
For the vegetables: Place the vegetables in a large mixing bowl, and season with the salt and pepper. Drizzle with the olive oil and place in a roasting pan or on a sheet pan. Place in the oven and roast for 30 minutes, turning once midway during cooking to ensure even browning. Serve with the herb roasted chicken.

  Download this recipe.

Mashed Root Vegetables

1/2 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 pound parsnips, peeled and cubed
1/2 pound celery root, peeled and cubed
1 pound Idaho potatoes, peeled and cubed
Freshly ground white pepper
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 400° F. In a mixing bowl, toss the sweet potatoes, parsnips and celery root, with the oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and roast for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Put the Idaho potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with salted water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and cook until tender, about 12 to 15 minutes. Drain, then return the potatoes to the pot. Add the roasted vegetables and butter and stir and mash until the butter melts completely. Add the milk and stir to mix. Season salt and pepper. Serve hot.


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