As their name suggests, these are plant roots commonly consumed as vegetables. In Britain, they tend to be in season in autumn and winter, and their robust, earthy flavours are perfectly suited to soups, stews and other warming dishes popular at this time of year. Widely available root vegetables include parsnips, carrots, beetroot and swede, but more unusual choices such as celeriac and Jerusalem artichokes also make great cold-weather fare. Root vegetables are often home-grown, packed with vitamins and minerals, and keenly priced, making them a seasonal must.
Most root vegetables are available all year round, but they tend to be best picked and bought when the weather is cold.. Look for firm, unblemished specimens – root vegetables are often wrinkled, but they shouldn’t be limp or wizened.
Root vegetables keep very well for several months if stored correctly in a cool, dark, well-ventilated place, either on racks or in breathable bags. Don’t wash them before storing – a covering of earth will help keep them fresh. Many root vegetables can also be blanched and frozen.
Article by Felicity Cloake
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