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Natural Awakenings Chicago

Root Crop Recipes From a Farm Kitchen

Jan 28, 2019 05:38PM

Photo credit Prairie Wind Family Farm

"We store a variety of our fall root crops throughout the winter, as they improve in flavor and maintain nutritional value. Most root vegetables are good sources of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that also helps your body absorb iron. Celery root has a mild celery flavor, so we use it in place of celery in soups, stews and roasted vegetable medleys. Rutabaga works well for mashing, roasting and braising. Root vegetables also store extremely well when wrapped in a plastic bag in your refrigerator,” says Jen Miller, of Prairie Wind Family Farm, in Grayslake.


Mashed Potatoes with Rutabagas and Buttermilk

Yields: 8 servings

1½ pounds rutabagas, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces

3 lbs potatoes, peeled, cut into 2-inch pieces

6 Tbsp (¾ stick) butter

¾ cup (or more) buttermilk

Chopped green onion or chive tops

Cook rutabagas in large pot of boiling salted water until very tender, about 20 minutes.

Using slotted spoon, transfer rutabagas to strainer. Press gently to release any excess liquid. Add potatoes to same pot of boiling water; cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well.

Return potatoes and rutabagas to same pot. Add butter; mash well.

Add ¾ cup buttermilk; mash until smooth.

Season with salt and pepper. Transfer potatoes to bowl.

Sprinkle with green onions and serve.


Celery Root Gratin with Thyme and Parmesan

Yields: 6 to 8 servings

1 cup vegetable broth

2 cups heavy cream

2 large celery root (about the size of softballs)

2 Tbsp whole-grain Dijon mustard

1 tsp sea salt

Freshly ground pepper to taste

1 tsp fresh thyme leaves

1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

In a large pot, bring vegetable broth and cream to a simmer.

Trim the ends of your celery root and use a sharp knife to peel the bulb.

When the bulbs are peeled, quarter each bulb lengthwise. Add celery root to the pot of simmering liquid. Cover and cook, turning occasionally, until the celeriac is tender (about 30 minutes).

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Remove pot from heat. Use a slotted spoon to transfer pieces to a large cutting board. When cool enough to handle, slice into ¼-inch-thick slices.

Layer the sliced celery root in the bottom of an ungreased baking dish. Sprinkle with fresh thyme leaves.

Bring the liquid remaining in the pot to a boil. As the liquid thickens, add mustard, salt, and pepper to taste.

Pour the mixture over the layered celery root, covering completely.

Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top, covering completely. Garnish with a sprig or two of thyme and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the liquid is bubbling and the cheese has turned golden-brown.

Serve warm.

Recipe courtesy of Jen Miller, of Prairie Wind Family Farm, which grows a wide variety of certified organic vegetables, pasture-raised hens for eggs and provides fresh fruit to CSA members, delivered to north and western suburban locations. Spring shares start in April. For more information and to sign up for this year’s CSA season, visit