We don't always think of January as a time for brilliantly colored produce, but on a recent trip to the farmers' market, we were dazzled by the array of root vegetables like turnips, beets, and rutabagas. These lovely pink, purple, and orange jewels bring color, flavor, and earthy comfort to our winter table.
Other winter roots like turnips and rutabagas tend to be underappreciated, but we've been incorporating them into our cooking more and more. Not only are they inexpensive, but they're subtly sweet and tender when roasted, braised, or puréed.
When buying beets, turnips, and rutabagas, look for firm, smooth roots and fresh green tops. To store, trim any leaves down to half an inch and keep the unwashed roots in a bag in the refrigerator for up to two or three weeks.
(Images: Gregory Han and Emily Ho)