This winter season, explore the delicious versatility of celery root, parsnip, and rutabaga.
Don’t let its ogre appearance scare you, celery root provides a subtle flavor of celery and parsley. Celery root can be used as an alternative to traditional winter starches like potatoes, as a salad (celeriac remoulade), or in place of celery. For cooking, first remove the stalks and peel the outside rugged skin with a vegetable peeler or paring knife. Then, give it a quick lemon water bath to prevent browning.
With an earthy, peppery flavor that sets it apart from its famous orange cousin, parsnip looks like a beige carrot. Served as crudités or mixed into soup, you’ll find parsnip enhances the flavor of dishes raw and cooked — though their sweetness intensifies when cooked.
Similar to turnip in appearance, rutabaga is part of the cruciferous family because it is a savoy cabbage and turnip hybrid. Unfortunately, its wax coating can cause it to go overlooked. To prepare, simply rinse, cut one end for a flat surface, divide into quarters and remove the waxy skin with a paring knife. Enjoyed raw, as part of stew, or breaded with bread crumbs and baked, rutabaga adapts to any recipe.
Big Y’s Living Well Eating Smart Registered Dietitian