CarolCooks2…Friday Food Reviews…Edible Roots…Part 1…


Welcome to Friday Food Reviews, where I will cover a different food or product each week and look at… what they are.  where do they grow, what can we substitute them for in a recipe, and are they safe to eat, store, use, cook, or anything connected to that food? or product..all the why’s and the wherefores…it will, of course, be mainly my own opinion or a known fact…good or bad…there may even be a tried and tested recipe…or three… today I am looking at…Edible Roots…Part 1.

Foraging still applies to roots although I will ask that if you find an edible root that you enjoy please remember that the roots are the most crucial plant parts as they are structures responsible for providing water and minerals to plants from the soil.,,without roots, there will be no plant… of course you want to come back time and time again as will others please be considerate…

Also, be careful, and do your research before attempting to forage any of these wild roots.  Always consult multiple sources, and always be 100% sure of your ID before eating any wild plant…

Like I did with the aromatic leaves I will not be featuring common ones but maybe ones we throw away without realising that they are a source of flavour for our food, to eat and cook with or to make tea…my aim is to feature three roots per post one of which may be new to you…

Today I am featuring …

Horse Radish Root…

Horseradish root is one of my favourite roots and a sauce to accompany beef or fish it is wonderful…beets and horseradish are a delight and one of my favourite starters use beets and horseradish…Beetroot Tartare…it can be dried and used as a spice or as a condiment added to a seafood sauce it adds that extra zing… Used for thousands of years worldwide according to Greek mythology, that’s what the Oracle at Delphi told Apollo…in ancient times horseradish root was worth its weight in gold.

Not only is it used in the culinary world but also in the medical field…it has natural antibacterial properties and is rich in many key nutrients.

Wild horseradish…both the leaves and the roots are edible if you pick young tender leaves they can be eaten raw or cooked like spinach…easy to distinguish from Dock leaves but the roots don’t have that distinctive horseradish smell plus the leaves are shiny unlike the matt leaves of the dock…but as always learn about your roots before you go foraging or go with an experienced forager…I find anyone who forages is always more than happy to share their knowledge.

Liquorice Root…

Liquorice root….liquorice was traditionally grown in the fields around Pontefract, Yorkshire does anyone remember the Pnterfract cakes little round patties of shiny black liquorice? or the packs of liquorice roots they used to sell in the sweet shops I used to love chewing on the root…During WW11 the demand grew to such an extent the liquorice had to be imported from Spain and became known as Spanish Liquorice.

Culinary wise liquorice can be used to flavour ice cream, pannacotta, and meringues it can be added to stews, and it pairs well with carrots…liquorice can also pair up well with other big flavours like mint, ginger, rhubarb and raspberries.

I love liquorice but have to admit it is not something I have cooked with but having across some lovely-sounding recipes it is on my to-do list…Do you cook with liquorice?

The root can be used to make teas…Wild liquorice however is not edible.

Warning: People who regularly take large amounts of liquorice, more than 20 g/day, may raise blood levels of the hormone aldosterone, which can cause serious side effects, including headache, high blood pressure, and heart problems…

Coriander Root…

Coriander roots have many culinary uses …Pungent coriander root adds depth of flavour to Thai curry pastes, dips and stir-fries. Coriander roots are the roots of the coriander/cilantro herb, an entirely edible plant, and have a white central tap root covered in small, dark-brown, hair-like rootlets. The roots of younger plants are thin, moist, and tender, while larger roots from older plants can become tough and somewhat bitter. The roots offer a pungent, peppery-spiced aroma and flavour, stronger than the leaves, with citrus notes and deep, earthy undertones similar to celery root. Both the texture and flavour will soften when cooked, often developing a mildly sweet flavour profile.

If you love coriander like we do then roots will add a stronger flavour…I never dispose of the roots now they also freeze well I always keep a small bag to add to stir-fries and Currys/dips.

Coriander root is a kitchen staple in Thai cuisine. With Its strong aromatic, flavour it is the reason why Thai food has a distinctive aroma and flavour that you just can’t find anywhere else.

So, if you want to make authentic Thai food at home, coriander root is a must…until I learnt more about Thai cuisine I always discarded the roots now I don’t they are an integral part of my cooking ingredients…also used in Chinese cookery when making stews, soups and braising meats…

I know many people do not like coriander and think it tastes soapy the roots have a completely different flavour to the leaves,,, and it brings a refreshing citrusy flavour profile, unlike the leaves the roots are better for seasoning food that requires a longer cooking process or to be cooked with high temperature? Unlike delicate leaves that wilt quickly and flavour diminishes under heat, the roots will not be cooked down but release a very distinct citrusy, peppery, and slightly earthy flavour…truly delicious.

Thank you for joining me today for this first post on “Edible Roots”…as always I look forward to your comments …

11 thoughts on “CarolCooks2…Friday Food Reviews…Edible Roots…Part 1…

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      I agree, Sally and its generally through lack of knowledge… we seem have lost a lot of knowledge over the last few decades hopefully as foraging is becoming popular again some of that knowledge will be restored and passed on …xx

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: CarolCooks2 weekly roundup…9th- 15th October 2022-Monday Musings, #British Egg Week , Health, Morbid Obesity, #Edible Roots…and Saturday Snippets where “Empty” is my one word prompt. | Retired? No one told me!

  2. beetleypete

    I remember Pontefract Cakes. You can still buy them, and one version is even sold by Haribo. I have never cooked with liquorice though.
    My wife is very partial to soft Australian liquorice sweets, especially the red variety.
    Best wishes, Pete. x

    Liked by 1 person


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