Have you ever been wandering through your local farmers market or produce area of your super market and see those bizarre looking root vegetables and wonder what the heck they are and how do you eat them?
Root vegetables were a very significant staple throughout the colder months during a time when lettuces and zucchini were not available in months of December, January and February. Thankfully that time has passed and we are able to enjoy these lovely treats with some leafy greens, crisp peppers or squashes.
We decided that there are too many amazing root vegetables and fall fruits that do not get enough credit and should go unnoticed or unused no longer. Below you will find a quick guide to some of our favorites over here at Epic. We hope that at the end of this you are feeling a lot less intimidated about the crazy looking fruits and vegetables and that a whole new world of produce is opened up to you.
Some of our fall favorites that you can find on our menus are Kumquats, Quince, Salsify and Celeriac.
Let’s start with Kumquats; these tiny little orange fruits are both sweet and sour. The skin is edible and is actually where all of the sweetness comes from. You can chop and mince these with some parsley, capers and horseradish to make an impressive relish or muddled with Cachaca and sugar to make a Caipirinha.
Quince is a misunderstood fruit. It is inedible raw but when cooked slowly over a low heat for a few hours they are suddenly bursting with flavor. Quince is a great addition to a traditional apple pie or added to bread pudding for a delicious twist on an old favorite.
Salsify may seem weird but is very tasty. This member of the sunflower family is called the “oyster root” because the flavor is vaguely reminiscent of oysters when cooked. You can boil, steam, cream or mash salsify. Once it is cooked it has the texture of an artichoke and some say the taste is similar.
Celeriac is very flavorful once roasted. It has a sweet and somewhat astringent flavor. When cleaning celeriac be sure to get all of the “skin” off as it becomes quite bitter. It oxidizes quickly so it needs to be dropped in a mixture of water and lemon. Celeriac when roasted makes a silky smooth, delicious soup.
We hope this clears up some of the myth surrounding these root vegetables and fall fruits. Happy cooking!