Here are some recipes using root vegetables in new ways.
Parsnip Bacon Rosti
Parsnips offer a sweet variation to this traditional Swiss dish, which is usually made with grated potatoes. It makes a wonderful appetizer or side dish.
375 g (12 oz) parsnips, peeled and cut into 2 pieces
3 strips lean bacon, cooked and crumbled
175 ml (3/4 cup) shredded old cheddar cheese
30 ml (2 tbsp) all-purpose flour
2 ml (1/2 tsp) each salt and pepper
0.5 ml (1/8 tsp) nutmeg
125 ml (1/2 cup) panko or regular breadcrumbs
50 ml (1/4 cup) vegetable oil
In a steamer, cook parsnips until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool; grate and/or mash.
In a large bowl, combine parsnips, bacon, cheese, egg, flour, salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Use about 15 ml (1 tbsp) of the mixture to form a 4-cm (1 1/2-inch) cake. Coat in panko. Repeat until all the mixture has been used.
In a large skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat; fry rosti until nicely browned, about 2 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towel.
Serve garnished with a dollop of sour cream and finely chopped pickled beets.
Makes 18 to 24 rosti.
Nutritional information per 1 piece: 71 calories; 2 g protein; 5 g fat; 5 g carbohydrates; 1 g fibre.
Source: Foodland Ontario.
Chocolate Beet Cake
This is a dense, moist and not too sweet chocolate cake, despite the addition of beets.
175 ml (3/4 cup) butter
250 ml (1 cup) chopped chocolate
250 ml (1 cup) buttermilk
250 ml (1 cup) sour cream
250 ml (1 cup) grated raw beets
425 ml (1 3/4 cups) flour
250 ml (1 cup) sugar
5 ml (1 tsp) baking powder
5 ml (1 tsp) baking soda
5 ml (1 tsp) salt
Heat oven to 180 C (350 F) and lightly grease or spray a 23-cm (9-inch) cake pan.
Melt butter and chocolate together over hot water.
In a bowl, mix together eggs, buttermilk and sour cream. Stir in beets.
In a separate bowl, sift flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Lightly mix flour mixture into egg mixture, being careful not to overmix.
Carefully stir in chocolate mixture.
Pour into prepared cake pan and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until a wooden skewer comes out clean.
Let cake cool and remove from pan.
Makes one 23-cm (9-inch) cake.
Source: Chef Andrew Winfield, River Cafe, Calgary.
Vegetable Chips With Roasted Pepper Cream Dip
These nutritious and delicious crisps are easy to make. When completely cooled, they can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to two days. Recrisp in a warm oven before serving. The dip also makes a great garnish for soups or salads.
2 each peeled carrots, beets, parsnips and potatoes
45 ml (3 tbsp) vegetable oil
Salt, to taste
250 ml (1 cup) cream cheese, room temperature
125 ml (1/2 cup) sour cream
15 ml (1 tbsp) lemon juice or vinegar
3 roasted red peppers
2 ml (1/2 tsp) grated orange rind
1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced
30 ml (2 tbsp) chopped chives, plus extra for garnish
1 ml (1/4 tsp) ground cumin
Salt and pepper, to taste
Chili sauce (optional)
Heat oven to 200 C (400 F).
Using a vegetable slicer, cut carrots, beets, parsnips and potatoes into very thin slices.
Keeping beets separate, toss all vegetables with oil to coat thinly.
Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper; arrange vegetable slices in a single layer on sheets. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 120 C (250 F); bake for about 45 minutes longer, turning slices at least once, or until crisped and browned. Sprinkle with salt.
Dip: In a food processor, puree together cream cheese, sour cream, lemon juice, peppers, orange rind and garlic. Stir in chives, cumin, salt and pepper. Top with a swirl of chili sauce, if using, and more chopped chives. (This can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.) Serve with vegetable chips.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.
Nutritional information per 1 serving when recipe serves 6: 310 calories; 5 g protein; 24 g fat; 18 g carbohydrates.
Source: Foodland Ontario.
Southwest Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
This healthy, colourful dish is kid-friendly and vegetarian. For a little extra flavour, roast the corn along with the peppers. If you like a little heat, serve with hot sauce.
4 medium sweet potatoes, about 375 g (12 oz) each
250 ml (1 cup) cooked corn kernels (about 2 cobs)
250 ml (1 cup) canned black beans, drained and well rinsed
125 ml (1/2 cup) diced roasted sweet red pepper
3 green onions, sliced
15 ml (1 tbsp) ground cumin
1 ml (1/4 tsp) each salt and pepper
125 ml (1/2 cup) shredded jalapeno havarti, cheddar or mozzarella cheese
Heat oven to 190 C (375 F).
Scrub sweet potatoes and cut in half lengthwise. Brush cut sides with a little oil. Place, cut side down, on parchment paper-lined shallow baking sheet; bake until tender when pierced with a knife, 35 to 45 minutes. Let cool enough to handle.
Scoop out flesh, leaving a 1-cm (1/2-inch) shell.
In a large bowl, mash scooped-out sweet potato until smooth. Fold in corn, beans, red pepper and green onions. Season with cumin, salt and pepper. Spoon filling into shells and return to baking sheet.
Sprinkle each half with 15 ml (1 tbsp) of the cheese. Bake until heated through and cheese melts, 5 to 10 minutes.
Makes 4 servings.
Nutritional information per 1 serving: 345 calories; 12 g protein; 9 g fat; 56 g carbohydrates; 10 g fibre; 345 mg sodium.
Source: Foodland Ontario.