Exploring roots

Fresh, elegant ideas for root vegetables on your holiday table
PAULA FRESCHET

Gnarled and knobby, root vegetables taste better than they look ― just out of the earth, at least. But peel away the dull brownish skins of such flavorful gems as beets, sweet potatoes, parsnips, and sunchokes, and you'll find both unexpected elegance and sweet, earthy flavors that make these underground stars perfect for winter dishes. Baked into a witty take on a tarte tatin, candied with bourbon, or bubbling with cream in a gratin, root vegetables offer a host of fresh possibilities for holiday meals.

Recipes:

Upside-down Caramelized Root Tart

Bourbon Sweet Potatoes and Parsnips

Sunchoke Gratin

Yam nation