Lately we have done some root searching (in our recipes that is). Roots are one of the few things that actually can stand our northern climate. Still, we have not been using them very much even in our green kitchen. Sure, we have oven roasted them every now and then or used them in a salad, soup or a juice, but that is about it. Not nearly good enough.
Roots are the trolls of the vegetable group — thick, wrinkly, ugly and hidden under the earth. But you know what? It is about time they got a better reputation. They are flavorful, versatile, nutrient, often sweet and one of the least expensive things you can cook with. And if you peel of their earthy skin all kind of beautiful colors appear. So come beetroot, sunroot, blackroot, yam, rutabaga and turnip. 2012 is the year you will turn into swans. At least in our kitchen. We intend to use you a lot more in our cooking. We’re thinking salad, risotto, root mash, lasagna and maybe some more juices. You just wait.
We start off with one of our more popular roots, the beetroot. They are of course delicious to boil or roasted in the oven with some feta cheese, but today we’re using it raw – to keep its nutrients intact. We got inspiration from a burger we had at a raw food cafe and made a beet spread that we’ve named Beetroosh (think hummus and baba ganoush). We used avocado and cashews to make it creamy, and mustard, capers, lemon and thyme to give it some extra flavor. It came out super delicious! You can use it on crisp, in a wrap, on a bread or as a side dish to any meal.
We served it with roasted sweet potatoes and sunroots and thinly sliced raw carrot, radish and some salad. So in this dish the roots are turned into a spread, they are oven roasted and they are eaten raw. We told you they were versatile!
4 cups (10 dl) raw beetroot, grated
2 ripe avocados
1 cup (2,5 dl) raw cashew nuts
1 small red onion
1 small organic lemon, juice & zest
2 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp pickled capers
1 tsp fresh thyme
sea salt and freshly grounded pepper to taste
Start by wash, peel and grate the raw beetroots. Add all ingredients in a food processor or blender and process or blend until smooth. Taste and add some more mustard, lemon juice, salt and pepper if needed. Eat immediately or store in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
Oven roasted root veggies
4,5 lb (2 kg) mixed root vegetables (we used sweet potatoes and sunroots/jerusalem artichokes)
Preheat oven to 425 F/200° C.
Wash and give the sweet potatoes and jerusalem artichoke a good scrub to remove any dirt. Keep the peel on. Cut the sweet potato length wise and divide the sunroots in half. Place on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for around 45 minutes, tossing occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and lightly browned.
Garnish with raw radish, raw carrots, green leaves, sprouts, fresh herbs and drizzle with oil.