Fresh Fridays 
March 7, 2014 
  Vol. VI, No. 5 
Baskets of potatoes and carrots. Small chalkboard in the center says,

In these last throes of winter, root vegetables make great ingredients for healthy, comforting meals. This week we offer a few tips for buying, storing, and cooking with a variety of root veggies. 



Potatoes. The humble potato is healthy comfort food! One medium potato with the skin contains 45% of the daily value (DV) for vitamin C, 18% DV for potassium, and 2 grams of fiber.  

Buying: Look for firm potatoes without cuts, bruises, or discoloration.

Storing: Keep dry potatoes in a cool, dark, well ventilated place (avoid the fridge).

Cooking: Gently scrub potatoes under running water. Cut away any green spots or sprouts. Boiling leaches away nutrients, so steaming, baking, or microwaving are the best choices. 



Turnips. Turnips lend a beautiful mild bitterness to all kinds of dishes. Let one medium turnip's 2 grams of fiber and 43% DV of vitamin C be your excuse for adding them to your menus.  

Buying: Select small turnips that are hard and heavy for their size.

Storing: If the greens are attached, remove them. Store dry turnips in a plastic bag in the drawer of the refrigerator.

Cooking: Wash and peel turnips before cooking. Choose non-reactive cookware like enamel, stainless steel, or glass to prevent turnips from discoloring during cooking.  



Parsnips. Parsnips' sweet and earthy flavor makes them easy to introduce to picky eaters. One 9"-long parsnip contains 6 grams of fiber and about 30% DV of vitamin C.  

Buying: Choose parsnips that are firm and dry. Smaller parsnips tend to be more flavorful and tender.

Storing: Store dry, unwashed parsnips in an unsealed plastic bag in the refrigerator.

Cooking: Peel parsnips and trim the ends before cooking. Experiment with parsnips' versatility: try incorporating them into mashed potatoes or adding them to vegetable soup.



Ginger. Ginger is actually an underground stem, known as a rhizome (other rhizomes include turmeric and galangal). Its delicate spiciness allows ginger to complement both savory and sweet dishes. 

Buying: Choose hard ginger with smooth skin. If you can't find fresh ginger at your store, look in the spice section for dried ginger.

Storing: Keep unpeeled ginger in a zip-top bag in the refrigerator.

Cooking: Use the side of a small spoon to scrape the peel off the ginger. One teaspoon of dried ginger powder equals one tablespoon of fresh ginger if you need to to make a substitution in a recipe.



Horseradish. Most horseradish available in grocery stores comes prepared--grated and mixed with vinegar, and sometimes other ingredients--as opposed to raw, due to its immense potency.

Buying: Look for prepared horseradish that contains only horseradish root and vinegar to avoid artificial and/or highly processed ingredients, including added sugars and fats.

Storing: Store the tightly sealed jar in the refrigerator after opening.

Cooking: Just a little bit of this highly flavorful ingredient goes a long way! Try stirring a small spoonful of prepared horseradish into a coleslaw, or mix a bit into egg yolks for spicy deviled eggs. Or use it as a condiment for your favorite seafood dishes.


Click on a photo or recipe title below to link to the full recipe:
Recipes in this Issue
Purple Potato Salad with Beets & Arugula
Tri-Color Pasta Salad with Roasted Carrots & Parsnips
Steamed Mussels with Burdock Root, Shallots & Sun-Dried Tomatoes

12 Great Ways to Use Cauliflower. 

12 Great Ways to Use Beets.

Man drawing cartoon people on glass.

What is your favorite comfort food to make with root vegetables? Share your recipes and ideas on the Oldways Forum

Oldways Bookstore.

Roots: The Definitive Compendium.
Use Diane Morgan's book, Roots, to expand your root vegetable repertoire. Discover new uses for ingredients like beets, jicama, cassava, and yams.

Saveur: The New Comfort Food.

Root vegetables make great comfort food. Enjoy comforting dishes from around the world in Saveur's The New Comfort Food - Home Cooking from around the World by James Oseland.

This twist on potato salad offers both bright flavors and colors. The slight bitterness of arugula matches nicely with the sweetness of the beets.

Recipe and photo courtesy of the United States Potato Board    

Carrots and parsnips add sweetness, texture, and nutrients to this easy vegetarian dish. 


Recipe and photo courtesy of Barilla 

Mussels and burdock root are a natural pairing, delivering an incredibly savory, briny flavor to this dish. Serve it with a crusty bread to sop up broth.

Recipe courtesy of Diane Morgan, photo by Antonis Achilleos 
Fresh Fridays is a bi-weekly celebration of Mediterranean eating and living. We hope our Friday recipes will remind you just how easy and delicious eating the Mediterranean way can be.   

To find even more delicious Mediterranean recipes please visit:     

 Mediterranean Foods Alliance (MFA)        



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