November is here; You can all start worrying about the upcoming holiday season now. If you’re a blogger, you’ve already made yourself sick wondering if you holiday posts will stand up to everyone else’s. It’s also the weekend where – if you live in an area which recognizes Daylight Savings Time – your clocks get set back an hour, and normal people use that hour to sleep. Not me! I use that hour to inadvertently wake up at what is now 4:30 am versus my normal 5:30 am. Should be a banner day.
I have lots to talk about this month with the November issue of Feast: once with the regular column, once with a feature article like the one I did earlier this year on black walnuts. I’m thrilled to say the least, and I plan to cover the feature in two parts this week. First, though, my weird ingredient column; this month, I discuss burdock root. Certainly some of you have seen or heard about it, or even use it regularly, as it is found in Asian cuisines more frequently than it sees its way into the standard North American cannon of root vegetables.
Not all that difficult to find (I’ve seen it in Whole Foods and a few other very standard grocery stores, albeit in small quantities), burdock root looks like thick tree limb. Not all that pretty, definitely not as showy as the bright rainbow of autumnal gourds we have kicking it right now, but just as flavorful; even more so, in my opinion. As always, I go through the ins and outs of the lovely (on the inside) burdock root in my column this month, so read away (and while you’re there, check out the beautiful photo of the humble root by Jennifer Silverberg: this month, she makes something which looks like a dead branch look dead sexy.)
What I like best about the root? Compatibility with other roots, as it imparts a unique flavor in the dish that you just can’t get anywhere else. It’s subtle, but makes a definite impact on your finished product that makes branching out this winter (branch it out…get it?) seem like a good thing to do.
I paired my burdock with parsnips: they are similar in shape (although parsnips taper where burdock retains thickness end-to-end), and slicing it into rounds to roast makes your baking sheet look satisfyingly like a side-view of stacked logs. Roasting them gets their sugars going and makes them all carmelized and delightful, and then you hit them with one of my new favorite winter glazes: the pomegranate-soy. Over parsnip and burdock, it’s perfection; add a little scallion and some toasted almonds and you have a new Thanksgiving (or anytime) side dish. Enjoy!
Find the recipe for my Roasted Parsnip + Burdock Root with Pomegranate Soy Glaze here, or on news stands in this month’s Feast Magazine. I’ll be back to talk about the feature I wrote this month as well, which is a whole lot of recipes and a little bit of love, all in once place.