With the days getting shorter and winter on the horizon, now is the perfect time to ground down and enjoy the many types of root vegetables available at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. You’ll find over a dozen roots in diverse shapes, sizes and colors, from turnips to carrots to rutabagas. They are delicious roasted, make a great winter stew addition and can even be enjoyed raw in a crunchy winter slaw.
Chef Trevor Ogden of Chambers restaurant in San Francisco was at the market this week loading up on a variety of root vegetables to use in his kitchen. “It’s been such a mild fall this year,” Trevor told me. “Even though we are still enjoying the last of the peppers from Happy Quail Farms and the strawberries at Yerena Farms, we’re definitely ready to transition into winter on our menu.”
Chef Trevor Ogden
Trevor’s cart was filled with brassicas like broccoli rabe and kohlrabi, as well as roots like golden and purple-topped turnips, Thumbelina carrots and sweet potatoes, which he planned to use in a boar dish on his current menu. Baby parsnips were also on his list this week. “I will be using them in a scallop dish, so I want them whole,” he said. “Getting them this size is key. They’re more tender when they’re small and their centers are less woody.”
The other root vegetable that caught Trevor’s eye this week at the Heirloom Organic Gardens’ stand was the albino beets which are less earthy than their red counterparts but still have a nice sweetness that lends itself well to many preparations. “I have done an albino beet and goat cheese cheesecake in the past, and I get a lot of requests to bring that back. Now that they’re becoming available again, I may have to do just that,” he told me.
Check out the wide variety of root vegetables available at the Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday Ferry Plaza Farmers Markets. For information about different varieties and recipe ideas, check out the CUESA website.