Getting to the root of things

Dishes made from root vegetables are perfect on chilly winter days.

Cream of vegetables soup (photo credit: Efrat Lichtenstadt)
Cream of vegetables soup
(photo credit: Efrat Lichtenstadt)
As the days in Jerusalem got a little chilly, we met with chef Elran Buzaglo (pictured right) from the Adom restaurant in the First Station and chef Sagi Azulay from the Lavan restaurant in the Jerusalem Cinematheque and asked them to come up with ideas for using the root vegetables ripening in their gardens.
“We wanted to incorporate the fresh flavorful roots, which are now filled with vitamins and minerals, in delicious, easy-toprepare dishes, and the result is in front of you,” said Buzaglo, who manages four of the city’s popular eateries – Little Italy, Colony, Lavan and Adom.
The chefs cooked a flavorful and colorful meal made from root vegetables, which are easy to use and are a feast for the mouth and eyes.
✔ 1 kg. Jerusalem artichoke ✔ 3 medium turnips, peeled and coarsely chopped ✔ 1 cup leeks, white part only, thinly sliced ✔ 5 cloves garlic, sliced ✔ 2 celery roots, peeled and sliced ✔ 2 potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced ✔ 100 gr. butter or 3 Tbsp. olive oil ✔ 1 Tbsp. thyme leaves, chopped ✔ 1 handful cilantro leaves ✔ 1 cup white wine ✔ 1 package peeled chestnuts ✔ 1 Tbsp. table salt ✔ Pinch pepper ✔ Pinch nutmeg ✔ 1 cup cream
Sauté the chopped vegetables, garlic and thyme in a pot with butter or olive oil about 10-15 minutes.
Add seasoning, wine and chestnuts and bring to a boil. Add enough water to cover the vegetables, bring to a boil and cover. Lower the heat and let simmer for 45 minutes.
Add cream and, using a hand blender, grind the soup until thick and creamy.
Serve garnished with cilantro leaves and a drizzle of olive or nut oil.
Note: If making this for a meat meal, use olive oil instead of butter and replace cream with parve cream or coconut milk. The flavor will be different but still good.
Crispy and colorful root salad (Efrat Lichtenstadt)Crispy and colorful root salad (Efrat Lichtenstadt)
✔ 3 carrots, peeled ✔ 1 peeled cooked beetroot ✔ 1 kohlrabi ✔ 2 Tbsp. tehina (not mixed) ✔ ½ cup crumbled feta cheese (optional) ✔ 2 Tbsp. pumpkin seeds, peeled ✔ 2 Tbsp. sunflower seeds, peeled ✔ 1 cup tightly packed chopped parsley leaves and green onion
For the dressing✔ 1 garlic clove, minced ✔ ½ tsp. salt ✔ Juice of 1 lemon ✔ 2 Tbsp. olive oil ✔ Pinch black pepper
Place all dressing ingredients in a jar with a tight lid. Shake and set aside.
Using a vegetable peeler, slice vegetables into thin strips and then cut into sticks (julienne). In a salad bowl, toss together the vegetables and herbs.
Add dressing and toss well. Drizzle tehina on top.
Lightly roast the pumpkin seeds on a dry non-stick skillet.
Let cool and sprinkle over the salad before serving.
Note: If preparing for a meat meal, omit the cheese.
“Buried” vegetables (Efrat Lichtenstadt)“Buried” vegetables (Efrat Lichtenstadt)
This dish can be served as a main dish for vegetarians or as a side dish. If serving in a meat meal, replace yogurt with olive oil.
✔ 5 beetroots ✔ 5 turnips ✔ 2 small sweet potato ✔ 5 red onions ✔ 2 garlic heads ✔ 2 kg. coarse salt
Heat oven to 200°.
Spread a layer of the salt evenly in a heat-proof deep baking dish. Arrange the unpeeled vegetables in the dish.
Cover the vegetables with the rest of the salt.
Bake for 1½ hours. Test the vegetables using a sharp knife to see if they are cooked through. If not, add 10-20 minutes to the cooking time.
When done, turn over the contents and remove vegetables from the hot salt. Brush excess salt from the vegetables, cut and serve with yogurt or a drizzle of olive oil.
Lamb Sofrito (Efrat Lichtenstadt)Lamb Sofrito (Efrat Lichtenstadt)
✔ 2 kg. lamb shoulder or leg, cut into large cubes ✔ 2 Tbsp. canola oil ✔ 2 kg. Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and cut into large chunks ✔ 10 shallots, peeled ✔ 5 garlic cloves, peeled ✔ 1 Tbsp. salt ✔ 1 tsp. ground black pepper ✔ 1 tsp. turmeric ✔ 1 tsp. cumin ✔ 4 bay leaves ✔ 5 allspice berries ✔ ½ cup each parsley and cilantro leaves, chopped, for garnish
Pour oil into a large wide pot and sear the meat for browning. Remove lamb from pot and sauté the Jerusalem artichokes, garlic and shallots for 5-10 minutes.
Return the lamb to the pot and add dry seasonings. Sauté for 2-3 minutes and pour enough water in to cover.
Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 90-120 minutes.
Remove from heat, let cool and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, heat and serve with white rice. Garnish with the chopped herbs.
Recipes and photos courtesy of the Adom restaurant group, jerusalem