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At certain times of the year you'll find a lot of roots in your veg bags – mostly in the depths of winter and in early spring when we rely on the winter stores of roots to get us through until the spring season crops are ready to harvest. The range includes carrots, beetroots, swede, celeriac, parsnips and the occasional turnip or Jerusalem artichoke.
To most people winter roots conjure up the idea of hearty stews but there is so much more you can do with them. Our moto here at GC HQ is “if in doubt, roast it!” but you can also make very light refreshing and filling salads with finely sliced raw beets, carrots or turnips for instance.
So we’ve assembled some recipes to inspire through what we lovingly call “root oppression” – when you’ve just run out of ideas or enthusiasm, or both.
A tray bake is probably the easiest and most delicious way to turn a bunch of roots into a fantastic meal. Anna Jones gives a very concise breakdown of the components of a good tray bake in this Guardian article.
The key to really delicious roasted veggies is to combine with oil, herbs, spices, something sweet like honey or acid like vinegar or lemon, and perhaps some protein like butter beans or chickpeas. The trick is to add veggies at different times according to how much time they need to cook e.g. hard roots like beets will need to go in first, and softer veg like leeks or courgettes go in later, and leaves at the very end for a quick 5-10 minutes. The fun part is to experiment with different additions and find the combos that you love the most.
Indian spiced: Ghee roasted spiced roots
Pepper & honey: Pepper and honey roasted roots
Any of the above: Versatile veg tray bake
Most roots are pretty delicious raw too – we’re used to eating carrots raw but you can also eat beets, turnips, celeriac and even swede raw. Widen your coleslaw repertoire with grated roots other than carrot. Or try shredding or finely slicing any root vegetable and toss with some vinaigrette - they will transform into something light, crunchy and delicious.