From root to leaf

At this time of year there are many root veggies coming out of the ground ready for cooking. Most can be used in their entirety, so read on for some top tips on how to use them all up!

Beetroot: If the leaves are in good condition, then you can easily cook them up as you would spinach or chard.

Carrots: We don’t need to go into detail on cooking the roots, but thought we’d mention that you can use the tops too. Pick off the feathery foliage to use in a carrot top pesto (Riverford have a good recipe) or you can chop them and sautee them with butter and garlic and mix them in with other greens. Use the tougher stalks in the stock pot.

Celeriac: The root is great for using in a gratin, dauphinoise, mash, or you can chop it into chunks and roast them, or even roast it whole. It’s nice in soups too. Use the leaves and peelings to throw into a stock pot.

Parsnip:¬†This one’s not so exciting, you can eat the roots but don’t eat the leaves!

Swede: Again, just eat the root of swede.

Turnip: If the leaves are in good condition, then you can cook them up by blanching them and serving them with a squeeze of lemon juice, drizzle of olive oil or a knob of butter and some salt and pepper. They’re a good alternative to chard. The stalks aren’t so great but you can pop them in the stock pot.

Other tips:

  • Leeks – If you’re pulling up leeks, you obviously want to cook with the tender white stems, but don’t be afraid to use some of the greener parts as well. And put the leaves in the stock pot.
  • Spring onions – don’t discard the green leaves, put them in to your stock.
  • Kale and Chard – use the leaves as you would normally, and chop the stalks finely and sautee them in butter and garlic
  • Brussels Sprouts – you can use the tighter head of leaves at the top of the plant as you would a savoy cabbage
  • Sprouting Broccoli – use the smaller leaves in stir fries etc or add to other dishes of greens