Dear BA Foodist,
I've officially got the winter cooking blues. I'm so sick of cooking potatoes and brussels sprouts. Any vegetable suggestions to tide me over until asparagus season?
Sally Degage, Princeton, New Jersey
Because of ingredient availability, cooking in winter can be more challenging than in spring and summer. Perhaps you are buying the wrong vegetables. There's a whole world of unsung winter vegetables that are increasingly available in supermarkets across America. To inspire you, I've listed my favorite winter vegetables along with recipes from five great chefs. Cardoons led the way yesterday; today it's celeriac (also called celery root), delicious raw or cooked and way more interesting than celery.
Celery Root Skordalia
from Ana Sortun at Sofra Bakery and Cafe, Cambridge, MA
Makes 4 cups
1 large or 2 small each celery root (small would be like a softball)
2 large baking potatoes
3/4 cup whole blanched almonds
3 large cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1) Trim ends of celery root. Using a knife or vegetable peeler, peel celeriac. Cut in quarters and place in a small saucepot with enough warm water to cover and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil and simmer about 18 minutes until tender. Drain and puree while it's still hot in a food processor with 2 tablespoons of water. Set aside.
2) Meanwhile, peel the baking potatoes and cut in quarters. Place in a small saucepot with enough water to cover, add one tablespoon salt and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 18 minutes until tender and drain. Pass through a ricer or food mill and mix into the celery root.
3) Place almonds with garlic, one cup water, lemon juice, and olive oil in a blender with one tablespoon salt. Blend until completely smooth. Fold into the celeriac-potato mixture and re-season.
Serve warm, room temp or cold with breads, meats, fish or vegetables.
*Tomorrow, a recipe for Jerusalem artichokes, followed by rutabaga and salsify.
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