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Don’t overlook these 7 white vegetables

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By Sharon Thompson
Lexington Herald-Leader
  • “The Four Season Farm Gardener’s Cookbook” by Barbara Damrosch and Eliot Coleman.

    Workman Publishing

    “The Four Season Farm Gardener’s Cookbook” by Barbara Damrosch and Eliot Coleman.

  • Freshly harvested celery root is sometimes sold with the stalks and leaves attached.

    Workman Publishing

    Freshly harvested celery root is sometimes sold with the stalks and leaves attached.

“We all know we’re supposed to ‘eat a rainbow’ — fruits and vegetables in lots of different colors — to get great nutrition, and it’s an excellent guideline,” said food expert Molly Watson.
But white’s a color, too, and white veggies are often overlooked when planning a colorful meal.
There are seven white vegetables plentiful year-round:
Cauliflower, something of a blank canvas, absorbs flavors well.
Celery root, also known as celeriac, is just what its name indicates: the root of the celery plant. This ugly brown hairball of a vegetable has a mild, celery-like flavor, with a starchy, rather potato-like texture.
Endive adds a nice bright crunch to salads and is at its best when braised, according to Watson.
“They bring scads of vitamin A along for the ride,” she said.
Daikon, an Asian radish, is very large and often sold cut into pieces. It’s ivory white and mild, and it’s especially common in Japanese and Korean cuisines.
Parsnips might look like white carrots, but they have a distinct flavor all their own, Watson said. Parsnips tend to develop a tough core, so be sure to trim that out.
Potatoes: No mystery here. Most of us buy them for baking, mashing and much more.
Turnips are a root vegetable commonly associated with potatoes or beets, but their closest relatives are radishes and arugula, which are members of the mustard family.
This recipe from “The Four Season Farm Gardener’s Cookbook” by Barbara Damrosch and Eliot Coleman ($22.95) can be served as a main course or as an appetizer with a garlicky mayonnaise.
Celery root cutlets
  • 2 large celery roots, each at least 1 pound
  • 1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 2 large eggs, well beaten
  • 1 cup fine dry bread crumbs
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
Fill a medium-large saucepan halfway with water and bring it to a boil. While the water is heating, trim, peel, and scrub the celery roots. Before they have a chance to brown, slice them into 1/2-inch thick rounds and drop the rounds into the boiling water. (If they must sit a while before cooking, float them in a bowl of cold water to which you have added 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar.)
Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer the celery root until it is just tender when pricked gently with the tip of a small knife, 8 to 10 minutes.
While the celery root is cooking, prepare three shallow bowls: one containing the flour, one with the eggs and one with the bread crumbs.
Drain the celery root, and while the rounds are still warm, dip each one in the flour to coat both sides, then in the egg, and then in the crumbs. Set them aside in a single layer on a large plate or sheet of wax paper.
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. When the foam subsides, use a spatula to gently place the breaded rounds in the skillet. (Do this in two batches if necessary.)
Saute them on both sides until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes a side. As you remove each round, set it on a warmed platter. Makes 4 servings as a side dish.
Story tags » FoodCooking

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