Root vegetables are transformed by roasting (50 minutes at 180 degrees C) in a slosh of olive oil and with a sprinkle of salt. They are delicious, versatile and attractive. This was our Saturday night combo – beetroot, turnip, carrots, potatoes (strictly a tuber, not a root), garlic and corn. All fresh from the garden. I could have substituted cauliflower, radishes (not just for salads), onions, brocolli and zucchini for a different colour and taste combination.
Left overs were used in a pasta sauce the following night with homemade pasta (one large egg mixed with 100g strong flour, kneaded for ten minutes, rested in a plastic bag for half an hour and rolled out in a a pasta machine, although a rolling pin would have done the trick too, dusted with flour and cut into strips of pappardele, boiled in a large pan of water for a couple of minutes, serves two people).
In Wellington where wind and sun can be at a premium, roots can be your edible garden saviours. They are easy to grow, are tolerant of shade, patient waiting to be pulled, colourful and will grow most of the year. You have to sow root vegetables as seeds in the location they’re going to grow, as they don’t transplant well. You’ll take away some root vegetable seeds to sow at home if you come on the seed sowing workshop on Wednesday evening.