Up from the underground

What’s in season: When it comes to root vegetables, carrots probably get the most attention. But there’s so much more to enjoy beneath the surface. Root vegetables — including parsnips, turnips and rutabagas — are generally in season from late fall through the winter months, perfect for a variety of cold-weather preparations. Beneath the unassuming and often bland exterior, root vegetables can have a surprising depth of flavor, earthy when older but often quite sweet when you find smaller, younger versions.

What to cook: Toss chopped root vegetables with a little oil and seasoning, maybe some chopped herbs and garlic, and roast for a simple side. Grate them for a variation on latkes, or thinly slice them to use in a rich gratin. Use the vegetables to lend depth to a slow-cooked stew, or puree them, finishing with cream and a touch of spice for a simple soup.

What’s on the horizon: Though you can find broccoli and cauliflower year-round at the supermarket, the vegetables are just coming into season, with deep green heads of broccoli and varieties of cauliflower — including Italian Romanesco, known for its spiraling pointed cones — showing up at farmers market stalls now through spring.

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