Refresh Your Root-ine: 'Round the World with Winter Root Vegetables

Posted by Boston Organics on Jan 8, 2024 6:34:43 AM
Wondering how to keep things fresh and tasty when carrots, potatoes, celeriac, turnips and other root vegetables abound? We’re taking a spin around the globe, exploring the many ways winter’s bounty of lower carbon footprint produce can be transformed into 12 easy and flavorful dishes. Think Japanese Curry, Moroccan Tagine, Italian Frittata, French Galette and more! 

Recipe #1: Japanese CurryCooked Roots

The British brought curry to Japan from India in the late 1800s. While initially referred to as Western food, the Japanese soon reinvented curry with ingredients from their cuisine to make it more suitable to the Japanese palate - think flavors like mildly earthy turmeric, citrusy coriander, maple-y fenugreek, warm pepper, spicy cinnamon, nutty nutmeg, licorice-y  fennel, herbal cardamom,  hot cloves. Less spicy, darker, thicker from the addition of a roux and a little sweeter, from the sweeter spices and the addition of an apple, than traditional Indian curries Japanese Curry promises to be a crowd pleaser!


RECIPE #2: Moroccan TagineTagine_plated-1

Tagine is a North African dish, named for the earthenware dish in which it is traditionally cooked. Usually made with chicken we've adapted the warm essences of that part of the world to highlight winter's root vegetables - flavors like mildly earthy turmeric, citrusy coriander, bright lemon, peppery ginger, fresh cilantro plus the sweetness of dried fruit. Variations abound in this dish! Use whatever roots you've got on hand other than beets, unless you like your food tinged pink. Choose from the dried fruits in your pantry. Add olives if you love them or toasted nuts. Make it substantial with boneless, skinless chicken thighs.


RECIPE #3: Congee (Rice Porridge)congee_3-1

Food, lovingly prepared by hand figures prominently in Michelle Zauner’s memoir, Crying in H Mart. From shopping with her mother to learning from her and other Korean relatives how to prepare traditional dishes to nurturing her  mother through serious illness Zauner illustrates the power of food to nourish and sustain us. So recently, when suffering through a bad bout of the flu, I found myself drawn to her images of congee, the traditional rice porridge that makes appearances in many Asian cuisines, and is often served to people who are ill.



We love stir fry! It's the perfect answer to what's for dinner; a great way to clean out the fridge of all those odds and ends you've lost track off; makes great use of pantry staples and with a little attention to varied colors, piece size and saucing ingredients is colorful, flavorful and satisfying. Use this open-ended guide to make a stir fry where what-you've-got-on-hand meets up with let's-get-supper-on-the-table fast! And is sure to please!


RECIPE #5: pot pie

Pot pie is the ultimate winter comfort food, basically a simple stew dressed up with a topping. Great for makingIMG_4752 ahead, pretty enough for company and easy to whip up with whatever you've got on hand. Pot pies are perfect for repurposing leftovers (some would call it disguising them). We love pot pies for being infinitely adapatable! Make it meaty with leftover turkey or part of a rotisserie chicken. Got a vegan in your house? Fill it up with umami-packed mushrooms and no one will miss the meat. Trying to avoid dairy products? Skip the milk, using only stock. As for the topping, pie crust is traditional but if there's no time for that frozen puff pastry is beautiful and delicious or a biscuit topping (homemade or from a can) is sure to please. Choose your baking dish - round pie plate, square baking pan, cast iron skillet - indiviudal ramekins will elevate your pot pit to something restaurant worthy. The possibilities are endless!


RECIPE #6: Roasted Vegetable Tart Vegetable-Tart-Large-1

What's a great way to use up leftovers or all those odds and ends rolling around in the bottom of the vegetable drawer? What's also perfect for a special lunch, light supper or conversation-starting appetizer? And comes together easily, making the best use of whatever you've got on hand? Why a vegetable tart of course!! The key to keeping this tart crisp, crunchy and flavorful is cooking the slower cooking vegetables (read: root vegetables) and those that will release a lot of liquid - like summer squash, mushrooms, peppers - before placing them on the crust. Your best friend here is keeping frozen puff pastry on hand; that way you're ready to go at a moment's notice.


RECIPE #7: Vegetable Frittatafrittata

What's great for breakfast, lunch or dinner; makes good use of the contents of your organic vegetable box and allows you to be creative? Why a vegetable frittata of course!!

It's the perfect answer to what's for dinner when everyone has gotten home late. Special enough for guests for brunch. While you're at it make two because leftovers are egg-cellent! Wonderful thrown in a pita for a brown bag lunch. Or eaten on the fly for breakfast when you're heading out the door in the morning.

Once you've got a few basic principles down, throw on your chef's hat, open the fridge to pull out whatever you've got on hand and get cooking!


RECIPE #8: Easy RED CurryEasy-red-Curry-with-tofu-and-vegetables

We're heading to Southeast Asia for inspiration for making the most of winter's produce. The flavors of Thailand - rich and creamy coconut milk, red curry (coriander, cumin, chiles, lemongrass, galangal), salty and umami-packed fish sauce and bright, fresh basil or cilantro - make for an easy and flavorful curry, served over rice. Jarred or tinned curry paste (we like Maesri brand) make this a super quick and easy weeknight supper. You control the heat of the finished dish by altering the amount of curry paste, though beware of the burst of head clearing vapors when the paste is added to the Dutch oven: a vent hood or open window is your good friend here.


recipe #9: Vegetable PakorasIMG_6285

Spiced vegetable fritters with the flavors of the Indian subcontinent - cumin, coriander, chile, fenugreek - make a quick, delicious and warming side dish or appetizer. When dipped into a fruity chutney or cooling raita they're a welcome addition to your repertoire of preparations for winter's roots. No need to be intimidated  by this exotically named recipe; it all comes together quickly and fries up in no time at all (think latkes here).


RECIPE 10: Build Your Own Grain Bowlbreakdown-dream-grain-bowl

What could be better than building your own grain bowl for breakfast, lunch or supper from the bounty in your Boston Organics box. Follow our  three step process:

  • choose your base of a grain and green
  • build your middle from our fresh organic fruits and vegetables 
  • top it off with the fun stuff
  • optional 4th step - make it substantial!


RECIPE #11: WEST AFRICAN Root Vegetables and GreensIMG_4622

For this trip around with world we're headed to West Africa where yams, plantains, tomatoes, greens, garlic, ginger and chiles all figure prominently. In this recipe we've adapted asaro, a starchy root vegetable stew in a flavorful tomato- and chile-based sauce to our New England offerings. Traditionally, the dish is made with the yams, but carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, rutabagas, turnips are all good and readily available stand-ins. Firm, green plantains are a welcome addition but certainly not essential as the sauce, rich with caramelized shallots, garlic and ginger is the perfect backdrop to whatever is in your crisper drawer. There is a slight but welcome heat from a single pepper dropped in whole to infuse the stew. Coconut milk supplies the richness and hearty greens help cut that richness while adding a contrasting, colorful punch. Serve topped with crunchy shallots, fresh herbs and a wedge of lime.


RECIPE #12: Simply roastedrosemary_roasted_root_vegetables280x

Roasting vegetables intensifies their flavor, bringing out their sweetness, which you can see in the browned caramelized edges that develop as they cook. Many roots are extra-delicious when roasted. Use our Roasted Root Vegetables Recipe for guidance. Serve as is or dress them up with a simple sauce like chimichurri with the flavors of South America, Romesco sauce from Catalonia, scallion sauce, chili crisp, or the flavors of your choice! 





Topics: winter root vegetable, Japanese curry, winter vegetables, round the world, winter greens

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