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Guest Magnus Mumby: Seasonal Series: Root Veggies

Welcome back friend and UK chef, Magnus Mumby. Known for his talent to transform seemingly common ingredients into savory and nutritious dishes, Magnus brings even the most obscure and unknown food elements to life! Now, it’s your turn! Join Magnus here at Garden Eats as he teaches us every which way to peel, chop, prep and enjoy this season’s root vegetables!

Everyday Vegetables, Not Just a Trend

Once considered a staple of the poor mans diet, root vegetables are coming into their own as people realize the excellent nutritional value they contain. However this still does not change the fact that they are perceived as bland, boring and uninspired.

How about we start off with the carrot and rutabaga (called swede in the UK).
The very diverse carrot can be turned into any number of things, including fudge (the recipe is on my blog)!

One for the Kiddies

Firstly a combination of simmered carrots AND rutabaga cooked until they are soft. Puree in a food processor with a couple of tablespoons of butter, some fresh grated nutmeg and plenty of salt and pepper.

Sounds deceptively easy, but the result is delicious.

Photo by Norwich Nuts

For those of you with children this is an excellent way to get them eating vegetables, such as rutabaga, that they would normally run a mile from! In 20 years I have yet to come across a child who didn’t like this dish. The natural sweetness of carrots with a hint of nutmeg gives this an almost sugary taste.

Photo by Arria Belli

Another tip to entice your tots is to cook carrots in orange juice. Orange has a natural affinity with carrots. Just add a single star anise to the pan with the carrots and orange juice for a totally different experience, just remember to discard the anise before serving.

Rutabaga is a Trickier Subject

Shepard's Pie

… They don’t have a natural sweetness to them, and therefore benefit from being paired with something else, as in the above recipe. Chop them into small dice to add to casseroles and stews. Grate them, carrots too, into Shepherd’s Pie. Simply fry some onions, grated rutabaga and carrots in a pan until nice and soft before adding minced lamb. Cook out with a little stock and tomato puree. In my recipe, I thicken it all up with lentils.

And, to finish it off, top with creamy mashed potatoes and grated sharp cheddar. Pop in the oven for 20 minutes on a moderate heat.

Don’t Let the Nutrients Bleed Away

Photo by November Wolf

To get more nutritional value out of carrots, try roasting them. This method stops the nutrients ‘bleeding’ away during cooking. Simply peel long thin carrots, snipping off their tops. Or for chunkier carrots, peel and chop into large pieces. Toss in olive oil, salt, pepper and fresh rosemary. Place on a tray and bake for 30-40 minutes in a medium oven, 350-400f /180-200c. You can mix them up with other root vegetables in this way. Rutabaga, parsnip, celeriac, sweet potato etc. It is also one of the simplest ways to serve a nice selection of tasty vegetables with any meal!

Next time we’ll have a look at some more unusual root vegetables.

Bye for now folks!

Magnus Mumby

Magnus Mumby is a UK based chef where he’s best known for enabling diners to easily and inexpensively create healthy and delicious dishes. He was awarded the Top Ten New Chefs of the Year award by Esquire magazine, among numerous other accolades. Ready to whip up one of his tasty, nutritive dishes? Visit Magnus’ site, HealthyNutritiousRecipes to make one of his favorites yours!

This entry was posted in: Be Our Guest


C H R I S T I N E Dionese, co-founder of flavor ID and Garden Eats is an integrative health & food therapy specialist, medical & food journalist. She has dedicated her career to helping others understand the science of happiness and its powerful effects on everyday human health by harnessing the power of the epigenetic landscape. To balance the more serious side of her work, she loves to concoct, write about and connect people through food & drink. You can check out her latest work at The Chalkboard Magazine, The Fullest and Rochester's Boomtown Table. Christine lives, works and plays between Southern California & Upstate New York.

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