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From the Ground Up: An Intro to Root Vegetables

Discover the delicious versatility of edible roots through this user-friendly course, featuring simple techniques, essential recipes, and other creative applications.

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Course Details

Tutorials in this course: 18
Total viewing time: 1 hour 36 minutes
Total course time (including prep and cooking): 12 hours

With the exception of a few familiar favorites, root vegetables tend to be overlooked and underappreciated by most home chefs. While these irregularly shaped, dirty, and dense vegetables can be intimidating to work with, they are also highly versatile and packed with nutrients. All it takes is some bravery and a little know-how to transform these underground underdogs into your new favorite ingredient.  

This course is a user-friendly introduction to making the most of root vegetables. Learn about different varieties and the simplest ways to prepare them, as well as more creative and complex applications. From traditional Italian mashed potatoes to ginger-infused crème brûlée, the tutorials in this course will provide all the information you need to feel comfortable exploring this versatile vegetable group.

Chef Instructors

Chef Daniel Holzman

Chef Daniel Holzman is the executive chef and co-owner of The Meatball Shop in New York City. Chef Daniel trained at many of the country's finest restaurants before mastering the art of the perfect meatball, a skill which is showcased in his restaurants around the city.

Chef Vartan Abgaryan

Chef Vartan Abgarayan is the executive chef at Cliff's Edge in Los Angeles. With a thoughtful approach to Mediterranean flavors and a masterful touch with seafood, Chef Vartan has wowed visitors of Cliff's Edge since 2012.

Chef Gabriel Rosen

Chef Gabriel Rosen owns and operates popular Portland izakaya, Biwa, and sister ramen and juice restaurant, Noraneko. Biwa’s great success inspired an influx of Japanese ramen shops in Portland. In 2015, Chef Gabriel opened his own ramen restaurant, Noraneko where he serves infinitely customizable ramen and house made kombucha and juices.

Chef Bryon Freeze

Chef Bryon Freeze is the executive chef at Tar and Roses in Los Angeles. Chef Bryon burst into the culinary spotlight when he won "Chef Wanted," a chef competition show on the Food Network.

Chef Kevin Meehan

Kevin Meehan is the executive chef and brains behind Kali Dining, an underground, pop-up, gourmet dinner party hosted in Los Angeles. Kali Dining brings strangers together in an intimate setting to enjoy the fruits of Meehan’s labor. Venues vary, as does the menu, so diners can always expect a surprise. Kali Dining has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly, and Eater LA, and has grabbed the attention of LA foodies. It has received rave reviews within the community, boasting five stars on Yelp and a perfect 100% Urbanspoon score.

Chef Simon Majumdar

Simon Majumdar, a Judge on Iron Chef America, the Next Iron Chef, and Cutthroat Kitchen, is also a celebrated writer and world traveler, using his relationship with food to tell inspirational stories of eating and adventure.

Chef Kwame Onwuachi

At just 24 years old, Kwame has already made a name for himself within the culinary community. His Nigerian lineage combined with his refined, fine dining skills makes for an eclectic and exciting dining experience.

Chef John-Carlos Kuramoto

John-Carlos Kuramoto is the head chef at Santa Monica’s venerable institution, Michael’s, where Kuramoto has gained a reputation for delivering high-end contemporary American dishes with a modern California flair. He also recently appeared on “Knife Fight,” a chef competition show on the Esquire Network.

Chef Gianfranco Minuz

Chef Gianfranco Minuz is an Italian native and proud purveyor of Northern Italian cuisine. He earned his first Michelin star at his own restaurant Ca’Masierei in Trissino, Italy. Chef Gianfranco now works in Santa Monica but previously worked as the executive chef at Trattoria Tre Venezie in Pasadena, where he earned his second Michelin star.

Chef Alex Diestra

Chef Alex was formally trained at the Western Culinary Institute in Portland and has worked in the kitchen at popular Asian Fusion restaurant, Saucebox for several years. He worked closely with chefs Gregory Gourdet and Jason Neroni before rising to Executive Chef in 2011.

Chef Jason Travi

Chef Jason Travi's food is a fresh reflection of his Italian heritage, New England upbringing, French culinary training, and Southern California location, all with a strong dose of modern comfort.

Chef Sandy Gendel

Chef Sandy Gendel is the owner and head chef at the Los Angeles restaurant, Pace ("peace" in Italian), where he presents the best of rustic Italian cuisine with local and organic ingredients.

Chef Christian Page

Chef Christian Page is the executive chef at Short Order in Los Angeles. His innovative and ingredient-driven approach towards cooking provides diners with carefully crafted and uniquely delicious meals.

What You Need

Equipment

- Chef's knife
- Cutting board
- Hotel pan
- Baking pan
- Oven-safe container
- Large nonstick pan
- Deep pot for frying
- Small saucepan
- Medium saucepan
- Large saucepan
- Mixing bowls
- Food processor
- Blender
- Smoking gun 
- Wood chips 
- Crème brûlée ramekins
- Water pitcher
- Kitchen torch
- Cedar plank
- Mesh strainer
- Wire skimmer
- Wooden spoon
- Metal spoon
- Whisk
- Tongs
- Vegetable peeler
- Mandolin
- Microplane grater
- Kitchen towel
- Plastic wrap
- Aluminum foil
- Disposable gloves
- Paper towels

Ingredients

- Ingredients are listed within each respective tutorial.

Tutorials

How to Bake Vegetables in Salt

Vartan Abgaryan
Intermediate

Baking root vegetables in salt draws out moisture and imparts rich and deep flavor.

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How to Break Down and Work with Daikon Radishes

Gabriel Rosen
Easy

This versatile root, commonly found in Asian cuisine, has a clean apple-like texture with a smooth radish flavor.

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How to Caramelize Onions

Bryon Freeze
Easy

Caramelized onions are both sweet and savory, with endlessly versatile applications.

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How to Use a Mandolin

Bryon Freeze
Easy

Learn how to accurately and safely use this helpful slicing tool.

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An Overview of Onions

Bryon Freeze
Easy

Onions are the flavor foundation for many soups, sauces, and other dishes. Each variety has a slightly different flavor and use.

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Burnt Onion Jam

Kevin Meehan
Easy

This burnt onion jam is savory and smoky, and can be served with french fries, vegetables, or on top of a steak.

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A Basic Overview of Beets

Harold Marmulstein
Easy

“Today, we’re going to learn about beets. Everything you wanted to know about beets but were afraid to ask.”

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How to Use a Beet Cure

Kwame Onwuachi
Intermediate

A beet cure can be used on meat, poultry, and fish to impart sweet, earthy, and nuanced flavors.

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How to Break Down Fresh Ginger

Simon Majumdar
Easy

The unique flavor of ginger adds warmth and spice to a variety of dishes.

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Ginger Lemongrass Crème Brûlée

Alex Diestra
Intermediate

The contrast of creamy flavor-infused custard and crunchy, carmelized sugar makes for a delicate and impressive dessert.

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Root Vegetable and Burrata Farmer's Sandwich

Sarkis Vartanian
Easy

"The Farmer's Sandwich defines our restaurant. It's all about local farmers."

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Cedar Plank-Grilled Salmon with Roasted Root Vegetables

Sandy Gendel
Easy

Salmon is grilled on a cedar plank and paired with a side of hearty roasted root vegetables to compose a healthy and satisfying main dish.

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Smoked Fingerling Potatoes

Kevin Meehan
Intermediate

Fresh herbs balance an intense smokey flavor in this simple but unique potato dish.

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Bay Scallop Ceviche with Taro Root Chips

Jason Travi
Easy

This dish is as flavorful as it is easy to make, and the taro chips add the perfect crunch.

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