Nigel Slater’s winter root veg recipes (2024)

Deepest winter, and the knobbly roots, the glowing carrots and pink-skinned artichokes, the fat frost-sweetened parsnips and cool green kohlrabi can all have their 15 minutes. Along with the brassicas, root vegetables are the stars of cold-weather cooking, but to my mind are still too often relegated to the side of the plate. This season, they have appeared in my kitchen as a creamy sauce, a hot terrine, a crisp salad, a main course soup and a fry-up. It is high time roots came out of the dark.

Cauliflower and jerusalem artichoke bake

A surprising amount of comfort and bonhomie here. It is worth letting the artichokes cook till they are thoroughly soft, so they collapse into a velvety sauce in the blender. Long cooking renders them more digestible too. And that can only be a good thing.

Serves 4
lemon 1
jerusalem artichokes 1kg
milk 1 litre
bay leaves 3
cauliflower 1 medium, about 700g
butter 50g
olive oil 2 tbsp
fresh breadcrumbs 50g
poppy seeds 1 tbsp
tarragon leaves 2 tbsp chopped
parsley 50g, leaves and stalks, 3 tbsp leaves reserved

Finely grate the lemon and set the zest aside. Squeeze the juice into a bowl of cold water. Peel the artichokes, dropping each into the acidulated water to prevent them discolouring.

Drain the artichokes then bring them to the boil in the milk. Add the bay, a little salt and coarse black pepper. Lower the heat and simmer for about 30-40 minutes till very soft.

Cut the cauliflower into large florets, then steam them till tender to the point of a knife, or cook in deep, boiling water for 15 minutes or until approaching tenderness.

While the cauliflower cooks, warm the butter and olive oil in a shallow pan, add the breadcrumbs and cook till crisp and golden. Stir in the lemon zest, poppy seeds and chopped tarragon, then set aside.

Process the artichokes and their milk (without the bay) and the parsley leaves and stalks, reserving the 3 tbsp of leaves, until you have a smooth, green sauce. Check and correct the seasoning. Drain the cauliflower thoroughly and place in a baking dish. Spoon the artichoke sauce over the cauliflower. Scatter the surface with the reserved parsley and poppy-seed crumbs and serve.

Carrot, parsnip and freekeh chicken soup

Nigel Slater’s winter root veg recipes (1)

A deeply satisfying soup that is good as a light main dish. The pomegranate lifts and brightens the deep, smoky flavours going into the bowl.

Serves 4
olive oil 3 tbsp
chicken wings 12
smoked garlic 6 cloves
rosemary sprigs 4
bay leaves 3
thyme sprigs 12
water 2 litres
freekeh 100g
small carrots and parsnips 250g
pomegranate 1
chopped parsley a handful

Pour the oil into a deep casserole over a moderate heat and brown the chicken wings on both sides. Peel and crush then flatten the garlic cloves, then add them to the chicken together with the whole rosemary sprigs, bay, thyme and the water. Bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer gently for an hour.

Rinse the freekeh then tip it into the chicken stock and continue simmering for 20 minutes. Halve the carrots and parsnips and add them to the pan, then leave to cook for 20 minutes till tender. Cut the pomegranate in half and take out the seeds. Remove the sprigs of herbs from the soup, they have done their work. Ladle into bowls, then spoon the chopped parsley and pomegranate seeds on top.

Kohlrabi and grapefruit salad

Nigel Slater’s winter root veg recipes (2)

Crisp, bittersweet and refreshingly simple, a salad for a winter’s day.

Serves 4 as a side dish or first course
kohlrabi 2 small-medium
pink grapefruit 2
orange 1
fennel ½ bulb
walnut halves a handful
chicory 1 head, or other crisp, bitter salad leaf
sprouted seeds a handful

For the dressing
walnut oil 1 tbsp
olive oil 2 tbsp
lemon juice 2 tbsp
sugar a pinch

Make the dressing by combining the oils, juice and a little sugar to taste. Season with salt and pepper. Slice the kohlrabi very thinly, then mix with the dressing and set aside in the fridge for a good hour.

Peel the grapefruits and the orange, then remove any white pith. Slice the fruits thinly, then toss with the dressed kohlrabi. Very finely slice the fennel, then toss with the other vegetables and fruits. Add any tufts of fennel fronds you may have. Toast the walnuts, taking care to just warm them through – they go bitter if toasted too far.

Separate the chicory into leaves and toss them with the rest of the salad, the walnuts and the sprouted seeds. Divide between plates and serve.

Salsify and bacon

Nigel Slater’s winter root veg recipes (3)

Not the easiest root to track down, but one of my favourites. My soil is too heavy to grow them, so I snap them up whenever I see them. They discolour within seconds of peeling, and you do need to peel them, not just scrub, so have a bowl of acidulated water to hand.

Serves 2-3
lemon 1
salsify 500g
streaky bacon 200g
rosemary 3 tbsp
butter 40g
breadcrumbs 60g
finely chopped parsley 3 tbsp
goat’s cheese 250g

Squeeze the lemon into a bowl of cold water. Peel the salsify and cut each one into short, cork-length pieces, putting each into the lemon water to stop them discolouring.

Cook the salsify in a steamer, or in a colander over boiling water, for 15-20 minutes till you can easily insert the point of knife through each piece.

Finely chop the bacon and rosemary and fry them in the butter. As soon as the bacon turns crisp, add the breadcrumbs, cook till golden, then add the drained salsify and chopped parsley. Toss to coat the roots with the crumbs then serve with thick slices of goat’s cheese.

Swede and spinach loaf

Nigel Slater’s winter root veg recipes (4)

Take a little care with this, blanching the roots first then weighing them down during baking so they squish firmly together. The loaf doesn’t need to be to be turned out to serve it. But should you wish to, then be sure to let it rest, weighted, for a good 30 minutes before flipping onto a serving dish.

Serves 4 as a main course, 6 as an accompaniment
swede 1kg
turnips 500g
spinach 400g
mixed fresh herbs 60g
eggs 3
egg yolk 1
creme fraiche 400g
gruyere 150g

Line the base of the loaf tin with kitchen parchment.

Bring a large, deep pan of water to the boil. Peel the swede and turnip, then slice each thinly, about the thickness of a pound coin. Cook the slices in the boiling water for 7-8 minutes, until there is a hint of tenderness to them. Drain and set aside.

Wash the spinach thoroughly. Return the empty pan to the heat with a small amount of water in it, then add the spinach. Cover tightly with a lid and leave to cook for a couple of minutes, turning the spinach over once or twice with kitchen tongs. When the leaves are soft and bright green, drain and squeeze dry. Roughly chop the spinach and set aside.

Chop the herbs finely. Beat the eggs and egg yolk together in a mixing bowl, just enough to combine the whites and yolks, then stir in the creme fraiche and gruyere. Season generously. Heat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4.

To assemble, scatter a few of the chopped herbs in the base of the loaf tin. Place pieces of swede and turnip, neatly, in one layer then cover with some of the fresh herbs and a little of the creme fraiche mixture. Repeat, several times, layering the root vegetables, spinach and herbs with the creme fraiche mixture until everything is used up. Cover tightly with kitchen foil then place in a roasting tin. Place a board and a heavy weight on top of the loaf tin.

Pour hot water into the roasting tin, coming half way up the sides of the loaf tin then carefully place in the hot oven. Bake for an hour, then test with a metal skewer. It should glide effortlessly through the layers. If not, return to the oven and continue cooking for 20-30 minutes until ready.

Nigel Slater’s winter root veg recipes (2024)


How do you roast parsnips Nigel Slater? ›

Pour 3 tbsp of olive oil into a roasting tin and add the parsnips. Cut 2 medium-sized carrots in half lengthways and add them to the roasting tin. Season with salt and black pepper and toss the vegetables in the olive oil, then roast for 20 minutes.

How do you roast Jerusalem artichokes Nigel Slater? ›

Pour over 3 tbsp of olive oil, a little salt and black pepper and toss the artichokes so that they are nicely coated. Cut 1 lemon in half, add it to the pan without squeezing, then roast for 35 minutes at 200C/gas mark 6 until the artichokes are tender when pierced with a knife.

How do you roast cauliflower Nigel Slater? ›

Put the cauliflower florets into a roasting tin and toss with the olive oil and a seasoning of salt and pepper. Roast for 25-30 minutes, turning the cauliflower over once the underside is golden. Halfway through cooking, add the broccoli florets.

How do you roast tomatoes Nigel Slater? ›

Preheat the oven to 220C/gas mark 8. Put the tomatoes in a roasting tin, just touching, and trickle over the olive oil. Season with salt and a grinding of black pepper. Bake for 40 minutes or until the tomato skins have browned on their shoulders and there is a generous layer of juices in the bottom of the tin.

Do you have to boil parsnips before roasting? ›

Parboil if you prefer a soft texture.

You can skip straight to roasting, but parboiling the parsnips first will help prevent dry or chewy parsnips. To parboil, put whole or halved parsnips in salted, boiling water and cook for 8 minutes or until slightly tender.

Do you need to peel parsnips before roasting? ›

How to prepare parsnips. Young, small parsnips don't really need peeling – just scrub clean and serve whole. Older parsnips should be peeled very thinly with a peeler or sharp knife, then chopped into evenly sized chunks. If the central core is very fibrous, this should be cut away.

How do you cook Jerusalem artichokes so you don't fart? ›

Sure enough, that's just what this centuries-old recipe for rendering Jerusalem artichokes fart-free – and one of the few methods of preparation I hadn't tried – called for: boiling them in lemon juice.

Should you wash Jerusalem artichokes? ›

We remove as much mud from our artichokes after harvest but should always wash anything like artichokes and potatoes that grow underground (or in tubs). You can wash in water using a vegetable brush and then peel by first removing the little knobs and then using a sharp knife or potato peeler.

What is the difference between Sunchokes and Jerusalem artichokes? ›

A member of the sunflower family, sunchokes — also called Jerusalem artichokes — are tubers that have no actual relation to artichokes, or Jerusalem for that matter, and are commonly grown in North America.

How to roast butternut squash Nigel Slater? ›

Set the oven at 180C fan/gas mark 6. Cut the squashes in half and use a spoon to remove the seeds and fibres. Place the squash hollow side up in a roasting tin, then divide the butter and thyme between them. Season with salt and black pepper and bake the squashes for 40 minutes until the flesh is soft and giving.

Why is my roasted cauliflower mushy? ›

First, take care not to overcrowd your pan; if the cauliflower is packed in rim-to-rim, the moisture will not be able to escape as the florets cook, which will result in soft steamed cauliflower instead of roasted. Next, don't be overly generous with the oil — a light coating is what we're after here.

How to roast courgette Nigel Slater? ›

Finely chop the thyme leaves. Peel and crush the garlic to a paste then stir the thyme and garlic into the honey and oil. Pour the dressing over the courgettes, toss them well, then roast for 20-25 minutes till the courgettes are tender and toasted, turning once during cooking.

Why are my roasted tomatoes soggy? ›

The main reason roasted tomatoes end up soggy is because they are overcrowded on the pan.

How do you roast shallots Nigel Slater? ›

The recipe

Peel 350g of large shallots and slice them in half lengthways. Warm 3 tbsp of olive oil in a shallow, lidded casserole, add the halved shallots and 6 small sprigs of thyme, then bake for 30 minutes until the shallots are pale gold.

How do you roast a pumpkin Nigel Slater? ›

Slice 750g of pumpkin, or other autumn squash, into thick segments, then scrape away any seeds and fibres. Place the slices on a baking tray, trickle lightly with groundnut oil and dot generously with butter. Season with black pepper and salt then bake for a good 45 minutes or so, until the flesh is deep gold.

How to roast parsnips Jamie Oliver? ›

Tip into a large roasting tray, dot over the butter and a pinch of sea salt and black pepper, toss to coat and arrange in a single layer, then roast for 1 hour.

How do you cook Gordon Ramsay parsnips? ›

Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan, then add the carrots and parsnips and toss to coat in the oil. Add the thyme, cinnamon, star anise and some seasoning. Cook over a medium heat for 15-20 minutes, turning the vegetables frequently, until golden brown and almost cooked through.


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