As the summer winds down, we say goodbye to its bountiful produce. No more ripe tomatoes, sweet, corn, or crisp peas. Fortunately, the arrival of cooler weather marks the beginning of root vegetable season. Throughout fall and winter, you can find us cooking with potatoes, beets, turnips, radishes, and other delicious root vegetables. From sweet potato casserole to braised carrots, we’ve rounded up our favorite root vegetable recipes.
Sweet potatoes are one of our favorite fall foods. Thanksgiving isn’t complete without a fluffy sweet potato casserole—for textural contrast, try topping it with a crisp pecan crumble. For a sweeter, richer alternative to French fries, sweet potato fries are the way to go. Both baking and frying can produce great results.
Vibrant, earthy beets are another cool-weather staple. They’re especially good for roasting, which tenderizes them and brings out their sweetness. Try roasting them with other winter vegetables like Brussels sprouts and turnips, or serve them with a citrusy crème fraîche dressing to brighten them up.
Turnips and rutabagas, like many root vegetables, are available year-round, but we’re most drawn to them in winter. Roasting turnips in a salt crust makes them buttery and tender—serve them with microgreens on a creamy bed of goat cheese. Roasted rutabagas are wonderful in a rustic green salad with flaky pieces of smoked trout.
Find all of these dishes and more in our collection of root vegetable recipes.
Oyster Club’s Lobster
Sweet, tender pieces of lobster and beets are topped with a rich asparagus cream sauce in this recipe from Oyster Club in Mystic, Connecticut.
Dried Beet Powder
Chef Chris Shepherd of Underbelly in Houston uses beet powder, made from pulverized dried beets, to give his char siu chicken a distinctive pinkish hue that typically comes from chemically produced red food dye. Similarly, the ingredient can color everything from pickling liquid and aïoli to baked goods and frosting. “It adds an inherent sweetness,” says Shepherd, “but it’s not a strong flavor.”
Daikon Cake with Garlic Hoisin Sauce (Luo Go Bao)
Chopped whole lemon and spicy fresh ginger lend brightness to hearty roasted vegetables including sweet potatoes, acorn squash, and carrots.
Celery Root Rémoulade
This Parisian bistro staple salad of crisp, raw celery root tossed in a briny mustard aioli makes for a quick and elegant side dish.
Braising carrots slowly in butter, rather than steaming or boiling them, brings out their natural sweetness. Maple syrup adds a delicate glaze and a rich flavor.
Fingerling Potatoes with Bacon
The secret to this simple dish is to use the best quality bacon available. Delicious and straightforward, you can whip this dish together quickly while keeping the oven available for other jobs.
Sweet Potato Fries
The pale yellow, thin-skinned sweet potato and the moister, orange-fleshed American “yam” (which is not really a yam, but another kind of sweet potato) both work well for these alternatives to conventional french fries.
In Acheson’s update on the French classic, he replaces sugar with maple syrup, subs in fresh herbs for dried ones, and adds chile for some heat. He also likes to stir the chopped carrot tops in at the end of cooking for added flavor.
Very large, firm daikon radishes are the best for making this classic kimchi.