BY DEBRA J. MORRIS
The backbone of a really delicious Thanksgiving meal should include root vegetables. Roasted root vegetables, mashed parsnips or turnips, creamy potato gratins, pies, and other dishes make an amazing flavorful addition to your meal. Whether roots are behind the scenes as additions to stuffing or the center of attention as a side or main course, don’t forget to stop by the farmers’ market and bring home a basket full of roots for fresh Thanksgiving recipes.
Root vegetables include carrots, onions, parsnips, turnips, beets, onions, and more. Because their edible parts grow underground, other vegetables are loosely categorized as root vegetables. These include potatoes and sweet potatoes, onions, and garlic whose roots produce tubers that are parts of the plant’s stems.
The root part of a plant is the nutritional storage unit. These “storage containers” are where the starches and sugars that the plant produces are and this is also where they hold the nutrients. The humble root vegetable has an undeserved reputation for being dull and bland. While they may look unassuming, root vegetables may surprise you with tastes that range from slightly bitter to pleasantly sweet. Plus, they have a heartiness that’s great for cool days.
You’ll find amazing roots at Tu Universo Farms from Watsonville, Jacob’s Farm out of Los Banos, and J&M Farms from Hollister. Their freshness and flavor cannot be matched, nor the fact that you know where they come from. Carrots, potatoes, beets, and more are here to enjoy. Dig in!
Roasted Root Vegetable Soup
1 each, carrot, potato, onion, and parsnip or turnip
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
4 cups water
Fresh parsley, chopped
Chop and peel vegetables, toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast at 400°F for 30 to 35 minutes. In a large pot add roasted vegetables, water, and broth. Heat through until vegetables are of desired softness. Taste and season. Add parsley just before serving. Recipe: PCFMA Staff