Root vegetables are having a revolution. Underutilized varieties are just bursting with potential to invigorate your entrees. Beets, Jerusalem artichokes and rutabagas started trending in winter 2015 and opened the door for their often overlooked relatives: celery root, kohlrabi and daikon. When working a new root vegetable onto the menu, think of dishes that are enticing and extraordinary, and give them a trial run by way of daily specials to assess their feasibility.

Légumes de saison

Laissez les saisons dicter quels nouveaux légumes-racines seront intégrés au menu. Les légumes-racines communs, comme les carottes, les pommes de terre et les oignons, sont toujours sur les étalages, mais ils sont de saison de l'automne au printemps. Il est possible que vous ayez à aller plus loin que vos fournisseurs habituels et que vous vous approvisionniez en légumes-racines de saison auprès de marchés fermiers locaux. C'est la meilleure façon de vous assurer de dénicher les produits les plus frais, un effort que vos invités apprécieront.

Purées et soupes

Ease root vegetables onto the menu with purées and soups. Whether rustic or refined, you can make a puréed soup in about 30 minutes using a high-capacity Vitamix XL machine. Made for commercial use, it has a 4.2 horsepower motor made for puréeing tough, winter-hardy root vegetables in up to 1 1/2-gallon batches. A prep cook can have 24 8-ounce servings of curried carrot soup ready for service in less than 30 minutes with that kind of power. 

Root-vegetable purées are nothing new so they might need a shake-up. Go with a few less common choices for your next midweek special and gauge your diners' delight. Pan-fried cauliflower "steaks" served over roasted celery-root purée, or a puréed mélange of roasted jicama, kohlrabi and carrots, can add a much-needed lift to a midweek sales lull.

Sauces aux légumes racines

Emulsion sauces contrast rustic, textured root vegetables with polished smoothness, adding refinement to their rusticity. The Vita-Prep 3 produces stable emulsions like aioli and avocado hollandaise – two sauces that pair exceptionally well with roasted Jerusalem artichokes and baked heirloom radishes. The blender has a 64-ounce capacity – that's 128 1-Tablespoon servings of sauce – and a removable lid plug. The plug lets you add ingredients and drizzle in oil for emulsions on the fly.