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Getting to know your root vegetables

Raw or roasted, baked or boiled, steamed or sautéed—there’s more than one way to enjoy winter’s bounty

Straight from our warehouse to your kitchen, all the root vegetables in this article are stocked at B. Giambrone & Co.

Get creative during these cold winter months and enjoy the delicious taste and textures that root vegetables can provide!


Sunchokes

Available by the pound

Sunchoke flavor is mild, similar to that of a potato or jicama, but nuttier and sweeter.

Thanks to their starchy texture, mashed or puréed sunchokes make a more flavorful alternative to traditional mashed potatoes. If you're into the velvety texture of a sunchoke purée, try taking it a step further by browning them in butter and blending them up with leek and sage

Sunchokes work nicely in many of the same applications we typically assign to potatoes or carrots. Try cutting them into finger-sized pieces, blanching them for a few minutes in a pot of boiling salted water, then roasting them or slice them thinly to make sweet, crunchy sunchips.


Parsnips

Available by pound or 25LB bag


The parsnip is a root vegetable related to both carrots and parsley. Parsnips are shaped much like carrots, a bit wider at the base, with a creamy yellow-beige skin and interior.

Parsnips are usually cooked but can also be eaten raw. Parsnips can be used in the same ways as carrots, though their flavor is markedly sweeter, especially when cooked, more like a great sweet potato. They are a classic ingredient in some chicken broths and soups, and can also be baked, sauteed, steamed, mashed or pureed, roasted, used in stews, and fried.


Turnips

Available by the pound or 25LB bag

Turnips are root vegetables belonging to the Brassica family, along with cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli. Round in shape and occasionally featuring a purple top where the root has been exposed to sunlight in its final stages of growth, turnips have crunchy white flesh that tastes a bit like cabbage when eaten raw.

Turnips' slight spiciness results in a flavor that's somewhere between potato and radish. This heat — which, like horseradish, concentrates in the sinuses rather than on the tongue — makes them particularly well-suited to mixing and matching with other root vegetables or pairing with other strong flavors, such as ginger. Older turnips sometimes develop a pronounced mustard flavor, which mellows with cooking.


Rutabagas

Available by the pound or 25LB bag


Rutabagas are fairly similar to turnips, with a slightly bitter flavor and a yellower interior. They are actually a cross between turnips and cabbage, and this is evident in the flavor, which is a bit milder than a turnip’s when raw, buttery, and sweet-savory, though still a bit bitter (kind of like a Yukon gold potato) when cooked. They are large and round, with a thick, smooth, hard skin that needs to be peeled before eating, and should feel heavy for their size.

They can be eaten raw, but are usually roasted, cooked, and mashed (sometimes with potatoes or other root vegetables), and used in casseroles, stews, and soups.

One of the simplest and tastiest ways to eat rutabagas is just to cube, boil, and mash them with butter. Unlike potatoes, which can get gluey if you mash them overzealously, there’s no danger of overdoing it with rutabaga. If you want them really smooth, you can throw rutabagas in the food processor.


Carrots

Large Carrots- available by the pound or 25LB bag

Mixed Baby Carrots with Tops- 50 ct case

Baby Carrots with Tops- 5LB case

Peeled Baby Carrots- 1LB bag or 30/1LB per case

It may not be the most glamorous vegetable in the warehouse, but the carrot is certainly a reliable and delicious!

Whether you're preparing them for snacking, roasting as a side, shredding into cake or shaving onto a salad, carrots are one of our favorite veggies.

Carrots can also be cooked and used in stir-fries, stews or side dishes, by roasting or sauteeing and blending into purees.


Yams

Available by the pound or 40LB case

Petite Yams- 40LB case



When it comes to root vegetables, there’s nothing more versatile and delicious than the mighty yam. This tasty tuber can be used in infinite ways, from side dishes to the center of the plate to even dessert! There’s so much more to this potato than the Thanksgiving casserole. Try them as fries, mashed, chili, stuffed, loaded: the sweet-savory combo always hits the spot.


Salsify

Available by 2.2LB bag (1 kilo)


Salsify is a long, thin root vegetable that’s a member of the dandelion family. It looks similar to a medium or large carrot or parsnip. Black salsify is immediately recognizable by its dark, nearly black, smooth skin while white salsify has brown or tan skin and is more “hairy.” Both varieties have white flesh that looks similar to a turnip.

It can be used as a replacement for nearly any root crop – especially potatoes. Boil it, mash it, put it in your favorite soups and stews, or simply cube it and sauté it in butter with its greens. You can even use it in place of potatoes in au gratin or scalloped potatoes recipes.


Celeriac

Available by the pound or 40LB case

Celeriac is the root of a particular variety of celery plant — thus, it's also sometimes simply called celery root.

Most chefs who are familiar with this vegetable know of it in celeriac puree but that is not all celeriac can do!

Roasting is a great way to showcase the distinct flavor of celeriac. Toss some into your next tray of roasted root veggies or try it in pasta or as a topping for risotto. Celeriac puree is obviously tried and true, it's so versatile it can complement almost any winter menu.

Celery root offers a perfect combo of light, slightly herbaceous celery flavor matched with the classic sweetness characteristic of root vegetables, and a bit of peppery bite similar to turnips. The texture is similar to rutabaga or kohlrabi, which allows you to enjoy it cooked or sliced very thinly raw.



Have any questions about our root vegetable selections any time of year- give us a call 585-272-7070

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