Getting to the “root” of the matter

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The bright vegetable stars of summer are beginning to dim. The zucchini have all been plucked. The trellis of pea pods has been picked clean. Even those tomato plants you thought would never stop producing fruit are almost bare.

We are in the midst of Vegetable Turnover: that time of year when a new crop of fall vegetables steals the spotlight.

Nestled in the ground, cool-weather loving root vegetables are ready to burst into the light. With their crooked features and unusual names, these late-garden gems may not win a beauty pageant, but they will lend delicious earthy flavors to your autumn cooking.

Rhizomes, tubers and corms …..oh my!

The term “root vegetable” often is used for any produce that grows below ground level. Although it may not make a difference when working with them in your kitchen, a little root veggie education is worthwhile.

True root vegetables are exactly that, the underground part of the plant. Think carrots, beets, parsnips and radish. But there are a multitude of other vegetables that are labeled as root vegetables but actually come from a different vegetable family.

There are rhizomes (ginger and turmeric) and tubers (jicama and potatoes), as well as corms (taro and Chinese water chestnuts). For the purposes of my root vegetable cooking, I throw them all into one big delicious vegetable basket.

Here’s some root vegetable recipes to get you started in your fall cooking……

parsnip apple bisque 5

Roasted Parsnip and Apple Soup
as featured in the fall edition of Edible Door Magazine

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Roasted Vegetable Hummus

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Skillet Roasted Vegetables with Apple Chicken Sausage

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Bittersweet Chocolate Beet Brownies

shavedVegSalad

Shaved Vegetable Salad with Hard Cider Vinaigrette

roastedCarrots

Roasted Multi-Colored Carrots with Whipped Feta

Links to Root Vegetable articles by Chef Terri Milligan

Know your roots – The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The Root of it All – Edible Door Magazine

Root Vegetables Take Over the Spotlight – The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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