I was recently sent a copy of a wonderful cookbook to preview: Recipes from the Root Cellar: 270 Fresh Ways to Enjoy Winter Vegetables. I can’t even tell you how much a cookbook fanatic and collector like me loves getting her oven mitts on new cookbooks! Especially when they’re as packed with great recipes as this cookbook is.
Recipes from the Root Cellar: 270 Fresh Ways to Enjoy Winter Vegetables is wonderfully written by Andrea Chesman. She is the author of several cookbooks, including, Mom’s Best Desserts and Mom’s Best One-Dish Suppers.
About Recipes From the Root Cellar
Nothing tastes better than the seasonal bounty of local farms. Everyone loves the spring-is-here excitement of peas and asparagus and the summer sweetness of tomatoes and corn. Now it’s time to give the hearty, long-lasting bounty of the autumn garden its due. Whether these vegetables are eaten straight from the garden, out of a well-tended root cellar, or straight from the market, their flavors reward the home cook, and their nutritional benefits pack a powerful punch.
Sweet winter squashes, robust hardy greens, jewel-toned root vegetables, and potatoes of every variety are the staples that make eating locally so delicious and satisfying during the cold months of late autumn and winter.
These cold-weather treasures work wonderfully well in soups (Celery Root Bisque, Creamy Leek and Root Vegetable Soup, Portuguese Kale Soup) and baked entrees (White Lasagna with Winter Squash, Chicken Pot Pie with Root Vegetables, Winter Vegetable Pot Roast), but they also shine in winter salads. Warm Goat Cheese and Beet Salad; Endive, Pear, and Walnut Salad; and Thai Cabbage Salad can be the centerpieces of light winter dinners or delicious preludes to the main event.
With this collection of more than 250 recipes, veteran cookbook author and gardening enthusiast Andrea Chesman deliciously demonstrates how locavores in all parts of North America can eat seasonal produce year-round. Whether they’re eaten in soups or salads, side dishes or entrees, root-cellar vegetables can be a delicious part of every cooks winter kitchen.
- Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Garden Cornbread
- Deep-Fried Root Vegetable Chips with Garlic Aioli
- Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries
- Cashew Carrots
- Braised Collards with Bacon
- Rosemary Roasted Potatoes
- Deep-Fried Onion Rings
- Root Vegetable Bread Pudding
- White Lasagna with Winter Squash
- Ravioli with Smoky Greens
- Baked Winter Squash
- Mashed Potatoes with Greens
- Chicken Stew with Root Vegetables
- ….and hundreds more!
One of the most delicious soups in the world is Italian Wedding Soup. Words can’t even describe this soup! Below is a perfect version of Italian Wedding Soup from Recipes From the Root Cellar.
Italian Wedding Soup Recipe
12 cups chicken broth or turkey broth
1 pound ground turkey, or 1/2 pound ground pork and 1/2 pound ground beef
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup acini de pepe, pastina, or orzo (or other small pasta shapes)
1-1/2 pounds Lacinato kale, cut into ribbons (about 18 cups lightly packed; remove and discard tough stems)
Bring the broth to a simmer in a large saucepan.
To make the meatballs, combine the meat, eggs, breadcrumbs, Parmesan, garlic,1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a food processor. Process until well mixed. Alternatively, mix by hand in a large bowl. With wet hands (to prevent the meat from sticking), form the meat mixture into 1/2-inch balls (the size of marbles) and add to the simmering soup. Simmer until the meatballs are cooked through, about 20 minutes.
Increase the heat slightly, add the pasta, and boil gently until cooked al dente, about 10 minutes. Add the greens and continue to boil gently until tender, 8 to 10 minutes longer. Taste and adjust the seasoning, remove from the heat, and serve.
Kitchen Note: The greens can be altered with the season, using curly kale, mustard greens, turnip greens, escarole, chard, spinach, broccoli di rube, chicory, and cabbage, so feel free to substitute. – Page 107, Recipes from the Root Cellar: 270 Fresh Ways to Enjoy Winter Vegetables
Whenever I make Italian Wedding Soup, I always use orzo – but the other suggestions the author makes are pastas I’m going to have to try. I’m especially intrigued by the use of kale. I’ve always used spinach and have never even thought of anything else. But Kale, mustard greens, or cabbage – fascinating! I can’t even tell you how much I love curly kale – so I know what I’ll be adding to my next pot of Italian Wedding Soup!
Truth be told, I’m craving a big bowl of soup right about now – in spite of the fact that it’s over 100 degrees outside (at least that’s what one of my outside cats just reported). Soup is always the perfect thing for a meal, isn’t it?
Here are a few of the other soup recipes in Recipes From the Root Cellar:
- Cream of Garlic Soup (YUM!)
- Cabbage and Tomato Soup
- White Bean and Cabbage Soup (my husband will love this one)
- Miso Noodle Bowl
- Onion-Miso Soup
- Chicken broth, beef broth, vegetable broth, turkey broth, mushroom broth (!!!)
- … and many more
I LOVE that she included recipes for vegetable broth and mushroom broth. When cooking things like stuffing or dressing, I always need at least one that’s completely vegetarian for my daughter, Brittany. This mushroom broth will be ideal.
The applesauce recipe will also be put to great use as we have a great number of apple trees in our yard. The author also includes recipes for Applesauce Crumb Cake and Maple-Apple Tea Cake.
In addition to the many recipes that I’ll use again and again, I also love the tips and quotes sprinkled throughout the 365 page cookbook. There’s also a great section called “An Introduction to Winter Vegetables” – very informative. There are cooking, buying, and storage ideas for Collard Greens, Kale, mustard greens, cabbage, garlic, leeks, shallots, onions, artichokes, squashes, beets, and many more.
From pages 18 and 19: Jerusalem Artichokes
Jerusalem artichokes can be thinly sliced and added to salads, much like water chestnuts. Their flavor is ore developed when cooked, and they are best roasted (see page 159). They can be cooked alone or with potatoes and mashed. They are also quite good pickled – just adapt your favorite dilly bean or bread-and-butter recipe.
If you love cooking and you love food – you’ll love this cookbook. We all know we need to eat more vegetables for our health – it’s cookbooks like this one that help us feed ourselves, and our families, the kind of vegetable dishes we’ll all WANT to eat. Again and again.
Click the following link to read more about Recipes from the Root Cellar: 270 Fresh Ways to Enjoy Winter Vegetables and order your own copy from Amazon.