Cooking in January: Hardy (& Tasty!)
Root Vegetables

Amanda Cunningham, Staff Writer

January 2018

Sweet potatoes, rutabagas, parsnips and turnips were common fare in Colonial America because they were easy to grow, could be harvested after the first frost and stored well. Take a break from potatoes by trying these other root vegetables!

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From our Readers:

Oven-Fried Turnips
& Parsnips

Patricia Townsend, Haymarket, Virginia


4 large turnips and/or parsnips
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon each rosemary and paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil


Peel and slice the vegetables into strips as for french-fries. Combine seasonings and toss with turnips to coat, then arrange in a single layer on an oiled cookie sheet. Drizzle with remaining oil. Cook at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden, turning after first 10 minutes. Serves 4.


From Our Readers:

Shepherd’s Pie with Rutabaga Topping

Sheila Jones, Wake, Virginia


2 tablespoons olive oil
2 lbs. diced beef chuck or lamb
2 onions, chopped
2 tablespoons flour Salt & pepper to taste
2 cups red wine
1 cup beef stock
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 bay leaves
1 cup diced celery
4 carrots, sliced
3 lbs. rutabagas, peeled
2 lbs. potatoes, peeled
¼ cup butter
½ cup milk


Heat oil and brown meat in a large pot. Add onions, stir in flour and seasonings. Add wine, stirring to loosen browned food on bottom of pot. Add stock and herbs, then cover and cook on medium heat for about an hour, adding celery and carrots midway. Meanwhile, peel and coarsely chop rutabagas and potatoes, then boil 30 minutes in salted water. Drain and mash with butter and milk, salting and peppering to taste. Place meat in a 2-quart casserole and top with rutabaga mixture. Bake at 350 degrees about an hour, until top is brown and crusty. Serves 8.


From our Readers:

Sweet Potato Custard Pie

Ruby Cauthorne, Ruther Glen, Virginia

2 sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons butter
½ cup brown sugar
3 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup milk
¼ cup coconut
9″ unbaked pie shell
1⁄3 cup granulated sugar


Cook and mash sweet potatoes. Mix with butter, brown sugar, 3 egg yolks, salt, nutmeg, milk and coconut, then pour into pie shell. Bake at 325 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Meanwhile, whip 3 egg whites with 1⁄3 cup granulated sugar until stiff. Spread on top of pie and continue baking 5-10 minutes until meringue is browned.


From Our Readers:

Roasted Root Salad

Georgiana Kornwolf, Williamsburg, Virginia


2 sweet potatoes
4 parsnips
6 beets
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste
½ cup vinaigrette dressing
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons horseradish
2 cups fresh spinach or arugula


Peel vegetables and cut into ¾” cubes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange sweet potatoes and parsnips on a large greased cookie sheet and beets on a separate one, then drizzle with olive oil and season to taste. Bake for 40-45 minutes. Let cool, then place in bowl. Mix vinaigrette with mustard and horseradish, then drizzle over vegetables. Serve at room temperature or chilled over a bed of spinach or arugula.



We need recipes for these upcoming issues:

Easter brunch recipes

Please submit your recipe by:

  • using the form here
  • email to [email protected].
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    c/o Cooperative Living,
    P.O. Box 2340, Glen Allen, VA 23058-2340.

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