While shopping the Farmstands and Farmer’s Markets you will find a variety of what I like to call the “winter white” root vegetables.
Unfortunately it’s hard to convince the less adventerous to try these these vegetables. They may still be scarred from childhood when these vegetables appeared on the cafeteria tray boiled to death and unseasoned. Stop worrying and try them they are delicious!
I start by saying “it’s like a potato but with more flavor”. And during the months of January and February you may want to try substituting one of these root vegetables for potatoes. Winter White bisque made with Turnips, Parsnips and Rutabaga garnished with sauteed Shitake mushrooms or pureed Parsnips with some fresh seafood are great ways to break out of your winter culinary routine. Stop at Krupski’s or Sang Lee on the North Fork or stop by your city Farmers market.
I make the Winter White bisque at la Cuvee at The Greenporter all winter and it’s a favorite. I never list the vegetables in the bisque anymore since it would scare customers. Now they ask for it all the time and are shocked to know that it contains the root vegetables they thought they hated.
Winter White Bisque
1 small Rutabaga, peeled, quartered and boiled in salted water
3 small turnips, peeled, quartered and boiled in salted water
4 Parsnips, peeled, quartered and boiled in salted water
1/2 cup of sauteed shallots
2 bottom halves (white part only) of leeks, washed and sauteed
3 cups of vegetable or poultry stock of choice
1/2 cup of sauteed Shitake mushrooms
1/4 of half and half or heavy cream (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Strain vegetables and reserve the water for your vegetable stock. Measure out the 3 cups of stock and set aside or freeze for another vegetable stock if you want to use chicken stock instead. Puree all root vegetables in three batches along with shallots and leeks (so as to not overcrowd the blender) and ladle into pot. Once all ingredients are pureed, taste for salt. These vegetables are packed with flavor and don’t require much help. Remember that this is a bisque so you don’t want this too thick (chowder) or too thin (soup) so add more liquid or more vegetables to thin or thicken. Heat the Shitake mushrooms in separate pan. Then heat and finish your bisque with cream and top with mushrooms just before serving. Stay turned for my next post on other winter vegetable dishes like Vanilla-infused pureed parsnips with Peconic Bay Scallops or Celery root slaw with fish cakes.