School just started back and we are all looking at the fall calendars and scheming and scheduling. Pretty soon, we will start talking about holiday parties (eek). BUT, not to wander to that just yet. This is (nearly) the harvest season, and root veggies are on my mind.

One of my favorite meals is a simply roasted chicken and what a great way to roast veggies alongside the bird, to collect juices, and become carmelized.  We usually think of the usual root veggies, like carrots, potatoes, but there are so many more to consider. There are several types of root vegetables: the taproot and the tuberous root, and their sister, the bulb root vegetable.

Taproot vegetables grow downward. A center forms from which other roots sprout. Think of it like tendrils. Often times, the top is plucked, but the root stays in the ground. The plant may sustain many harvests, but then the root system becomes old and yields less fruit. Typical taproot vegetables are beets, carrots, dandelion, parsley, parsnips, radish, rutabaga, salsify, and turnips.

The Tuberous root vegetables grow more near to the soil’s surface. With tuberous plants, underground plants form and not only grow vegetables, but the core plant continues to grow and can therefore last through winter, and for a long time. Good examples of tuberous root vegetables are potatoes, sweet potato, ginger, and yam.

Ah, but there’s more! There are also bulb root vegetables. These grow underground, and are grown on the underside of the stem of the plant. The leaves of the plant serve as nutrition during dormancy. Examples of bulb root vegetables are garlic, onion, shallot, and fennel.

So, think outside the box with root veggies. Next time you roast a chicken, put some new kinds of root vegetables in the roasting pan. Hello, Fall!