Recipes and Ideas for Winter Vegetables

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Yesterday Melissa Clark stopped by to get us inspired about winter vegetables. Here are a few of the recipes and tips that she shared, as well as a few from callers.

Celery Root Risotto
Grate the celery root and sauté it in the pan when you add the rice. Then cook it together with the rice (adding liquid and stirring as it’s absorbed, in the normal risotto fashion). Finish with some fresh celery leaves and a squeeze of lemon.

Dumpling Squash
Cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, then cut it into wedges. Rub them with a little olive oil, salt, pepper, and cinnamon, and roast them (at 400 degrees until tender).
A tip: Squash can be hard to cut, so Melissa suggests microwaving it for a minute first. It softens it a little so it’s easier to cut into.

A listener called in asking what to do with some really big mushrooms she had that resembled parsnips. Melissa said they are most likely king mushrooms, and she suggested preparing them this way:

King Mushrooms
Quarter them lengthwise and pan sear them using a little peanut oil or olive oil. Brown them on all sides, then add some liquid—broth or soy sauce—and cook for another 2 minutes. Then drizzle them with some sesame oil and serve.

Another caller shared this recipe:

Collard Greens
Wash the leaves and remove the stems. Then roll up the leaves and finely cut them up so the leaves are shredded ribbons. Sauté them lightly in oil. Melissa suggests tossing in a smashed garlic clove or two as you sauté and fish it out before serving.

Melissa has written about using turnips and kale and other winter vegetables in salads in her New York Times column, and here's a recipe for a salad with shaved turnips, arugula, and prosciutto.

Check out her recipes for Crispy Roasted Cabbage and Roasted Rutabagas with Maple Syrup and Chili, both from her latest cookbook, Cook This Now: 120 Easy and Delectable Dishes You Can't Wait to Make.