November 28, 2012
Today my new best friends are root vegetables. Our winter garden consists of turnips, with greens, of course, collards, kale, mustard, rutabagas, Swiss chard and “spring” onions. They really aren’t spring onions, but they look and act just like them. Actually, they are multiplying onions. Our friends introduced us to them last year, and they make me happy. If you have a friend who has them in his garden, he will be more than glad to share, as they are like zucchini, you hate to throw them on the compost heap, but you can’t use them all. They are planted in mid-summer and harvested all winter. In the spring, you pull them up and hold them in a cool, dark place until time for planting time. Separate into single cloves before replanting. It is such a pleasure to simply go to the garden and pull up whatever I need when my recipe calls for green onions. They will wait there patiently until I need them all winter, unlike the ones I purchase in the grocery store. Of course, I am speaking for Middle Tennessee, so you will want to research your zone.
Now, the rest of the story – during the summer we harvested potatoes, carrots and butternut squash. (If you don’t already have a root cellar for storage of these types of vegetables, get busy!) Yesterday I selected some of my stored vegs and combined them with produce from the winter garden to make a delightful medley of roasted root vegetables.
Here’s what I did.
I peeled and diced the following vegetables:
1 Butternut squash (peel and remove the seeds)
2 Sweet Potatoes
3 Medium turnips
1 Rutabegga (a large yellow turnip)
10 garlic cloves
I cut them into 1” cubes, but I have had them cut in 1”x 3” strips like for fries, and I like that better.
Drench them in Italian dressing or olive oil. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper and other herbs as desired. I used Rosemary from my herb garden. Fresh herbs are much better since this dish cooks so long.
Roast all except the garlic in an uncovered flat pan (large Pyrex casserole). For 30 minutes at 400 degrees, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic cloves and continue to roast another 30 minutes or until all vegetables are soft, especially the garlic.
You can prepare this well in advance and reheat at 450 until warm.
Our cellar is under construction. I will blog about that with photographs soon. Root cellaring is also possible for you even if you live in an apartment. Check out "Root Cellaring" by Mike and Nancy Bubel by clicking the colored text.
~ Pam Smith ~