Farmers markets are popping up everywhere, and grocery chains are offering more varieties of organic, local, and seasonal vegetables than ever. As the fall harvests roll in, you might come across more unfamiliar vegetables at your local markets. Our chefs love exploring the flavors and textures of these seasonal offerings and the best ways to use them. Here are five of our favorite lesser-known fall veggies and a few recipes to make them shine.
These root vegetables resemble the humble turnip but are much larger and— when roasted—have a sweeter, nuttier flavor than a turnip’s peppery bite. They’re often found in the winter months and pack a significant amount of vitamin C and antioxidants. They’re great sautéed, roasted, baked, mashed…think of them as a potato with more character. Here we roast rutabaga alongside onion and bacon to make a perfect bed for mustardy chicken.
2. Celery Root
Celery root, or celeriac, has a creamy, white flesh that’s an excellent substitute for potatoes and other starches. This versatile veggie has a subtle celery or parsley flavor that pairs well with other savory, bold foods. They’re perfect for making “frites” with a piquant mustard aioli.
This Mexican tuber may be a little intimidating at first glance, but underneath its tough exterior is a sweet, juicy vegetable. Eaten raw, it has the crisp, slightly sweet crunch of an apple with a savory edge. Enjoy jicama cooked or raw. Either way, this starch will be low in calories and high in vitamin C. We pair it with black quinoa and grapefruit for a refreshing, nutty salad.
Parsnips are the pale cousins of the carrot. While lacking in color, these root vegetables have a rich, nutty, earthy taste. They’re particularly sweet in winter and are packed with potassium. Parsnips can be enjoyed in a large variety of ways, but they make for an especially flavorful, creamy mash.
5. Spaghetti Squash
This carotene powerhouse may not look all that different from other squashes, but when cooked, its bright orange flesh pulls apart into fantastic, nutrient-rich strands of veggie “spaghetti.” In this dish, its rich texture is the perfect pasta substitute to go with kale, mushrooms, onion, and sun-dried tomatoes.
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