Root vegetables and tubers
Root vegetables and tubers are the parts of a plant of which the root has grown into a vegetable.
Carrots and peas are the vegetables that children like best. The most attractive features of carrots are their bright colour and their sweet taste. The positive thing is that these vegetables contain lots of carotene, which the body can convert into vitamin A, which is good for the skin and eyes. After all, when did you ever see a rabbit wearing glasses?
Carrots can be prepared in various ways: boiled, baked or steamed. Even raw, they are very fresh and tasty. The perfect snack! Carrots with their leaves still on are sometimes known as 'young carrots'. In the rest period you can only buy carrots without their leaves.
In the 16th century, the Spanish brought the potato to our area. But it was not until the early 19th century that this vegetable really became popular here. Potatoes contain lots of carbohydrates, protein and vitamins B and C. To get the most of the vitamins, you need to eat the potatoes in their skins. Store potatoes in a cool, dark, ventilated place. Don't store them for too long, because the vitamins will be lost!
Potatoes can be boiled or fried (in a saucepan or deep-fryer). After cooking, you can also leave them to cool off and use them in a salad. Raw potatoes do not taste of anything.
Celeriac is the root of the celery plant. At first sight, it looks inedible, but once you've tried it... The taste is quite strong and goes perfectly in mashed potato. Celeriac can also be deep-fried and served as a very original aperitif.
In its pure form, unwashed and unpeeled, black salsify looks long, black and gnarled. After, it looks more like white asparagus and also has a similar taste. In fact in the olden days it used to be called the poor man's asparagus, because black salsify is a little cheaper.
Radishes are usually red, but white ones also exist. They vary in shape from round to elongated. If you are looking for a bit of extra flavour in your salads or aperitif snacks, then radishes are the ideal answer! If your radishes have gone a bit soft after a couple of days, just pop them in cold water for an hour and they will perk up a treat.
Radishes are also very easy to grow yourself. Just press the seeds 1 cm into the soil, space them 5 cm apart, give them lots of water and within 10 days, the little seedlings will start to appear. One month later the radishes will be fully grown and ready to pull.
Some people say that beetroot tastes a bit like earth, but that is a sign that it has not been properly prepared. In Eastern Europe, beetroot is one of the most commonly used vegetables, in both hot and cold dishes. The most popular Russian dish, borscht, is no more than beetroot soup. In this country, beetroot is cut into small cubes and used to garnish cold dishes.