Wednesday, January 25, 2012

These Roots Were Made For Talkin'

Winter has been quite the tease so far this year. A burst of flurries is followed by a warm day or two, the temperatures fluctuate wildly, and blizzards give way to thunderstorms or sleet. I just don't know what to expect any more.

But even though there still hasn't been much snow to enjoy, I'm definitely into my winter eating habits: lots of potatoes, sweet potatoes, and -- of course -- root vegetables.

I was feeling rather worn out on Sunday and needing a spot of comfort food for lunch, so I cleaned a few things out of the vegetable drawer: the last of the season's parsnips, a bartered turnip, a couple of carrots from the garden. I had spotted a recipe for root vegetable latkes in a book I recently reviewed, and since I have been downing more than my fair share of hash brown potatoes lately, I thought I'd give this variation a try.

Luckily, I also had some onion tops from the market, and a couple of those snipped into the shredded vegetable and egg mixture gave it a little extra savory kick. I also cleaned out a bit of cheese, adding that to the top of two of the latkes once the first side had browned.

The mixture was a little heavy on the turnip side, giving it a strong mustardy taste that normally I don't enjoy, but the whole combination turned out pretty well and satisfied my craving.

Today, since the snow had cleared the way to the back of my little garden plot at the Renaissance Man's place, I decided to pull the remaining two scarlet turnips (a sweeter variety). After the first one, however, I thought the second could remain in the ground a little longer.


Well, considering that that first turnip turned out to be a pretty hefty creature -- compare it to the quart jar of stock here! -- I thought it might stretch through a few meals before I needed to harvest its companion.

And I was right. I added not even a third of it (sliced) to a small dish of gratin dauphinois for dinner this evening, and I think it will take some time to finish off the rest!

Would Winter please hurry up and get here so I can enjoy my roots in truly cold weather? Not complaining, of course, but this just doesn't seem right...

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