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Thursday, 23 July 2015 14:51

Get back to your roots with these vegetables

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When I can’t figure out what I?want to cook, or worse yet, I have nothing to cook, I tend to go to the bin of root vegetables. I keep carrots, onions and potatoes on hand as a staple, but I almost always have other roots in there -- maybe fennel, leeks, celeriac, kohlrabi or turnips. They’re all good keepers. Better yet, they make some satisfying dishes that fill you up with goodness.

Baked leek tart

Serves four as a main course, six to eight as a side dish

9-inch tart or pie pan

1 pie crust, uncooked

4-5 large leeks

2 Tbsps. butter

1 cup half-and-half

3 large eggs

Salt and pepper to taste

Dash of nutmeg

1/2 cup grated Swiss cheese

2 Tbsps. Parmesan cheese

2 Tbsps. chopped chives

Lay the pie crust in tart or pie pan. Flute the edges if you are using a pie pan, trim them level with the top if using a tart pan.

Clean the leeks and slice them thin. Let drain as you melt the butter in a large fry pan. Saute the leeks until just tender.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together half-and-half, eggs, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Stir in the leeks and Swiss cheese. Pour this mixture in pie shell. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese and chives on top.

Bake in preheated 350 F oven about 30 minutes or until puffed and golden brown.

Vegetable stew pot

Serves four to six

3-4 carrots

1 lb. root vegetables (turnips, rutabaga, parsnips, celeriac, fennel or kohlrabi, all one kind or mixed)

8 oz. green beans

2 Tbsps. butter

8 oz. mushrooms

1 can cream of mushroom or cream of celery soup

Peel carrots and root vegetables. Slice into one-half-inch coins or pieces. Boil until just tender. Clean and cut the beans into 2-inch pieces and add to the pot of boiling vegetables, boil the whole thing another few minutes. Remove from heat and drain. In an ovenproof casserole dish, melt the butter.

Slice the mushrooms thick and saute for a few minutes. Combine mushrooms with vegetables and add the soup. (Do not add any water or milk as listed on the soup can.) Cook in oven, covered, for 45 minutes.

This is a good vegetable dish to prepare ahead, then stick in the oven for the last hour of cooking time when you are making a roast.

Veggie pancakes

1 cup grated prepared vegetables*

1 cup grated red potatoes, skin on

1/4 cup onion, chopped fine

1 Tbsp. fresh chopped parsley

1 whole egg, beaten

2 Tbsps. flour

Salt and pepper to taste

Oil for frying

Prepare vegetables* (turnips, rutabaga, parsnips, celeriac, kohlrabi) by peeling and parboiling first. Then grate fine or use a food processor.

Combine all ingredients (except oil). When grating the vegetables and potatoes include the juice, too. In a shallow fry pan, heat just enough oil to coat the bottom to sizzling. Drop a serving spoon size portion of the batter in the pan and flatten out with the spoon. Fry for about three minutes on each side or until crisp and brown. Drain on paper towel. Serve hot as a side dish.

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