Sweet And Crumby

Baking, a Love Story

A Book Review: Roots by Diane Morgan {And Raw Beet Slaw!}

33 Comments

Roots, deep below the ground, burrowing and then sprouting and finally like the ugly duckling, becoming something quite beautiful even if only from within. Roots are the beginning of everything, connect us, keep us hooked to our past as we gingerly step out into the world.

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This fresh and sweet jewelled beet slaw is an adapted recipe from the cookbook, Roots, by Diane Morgan.  It is a breathtaking book which is almost an a-z compendium of root vegetables and  has entirely captivated me and has me dreaming of galangal, celery root and a particular carrot bundt cake with Meyer lemon glaze. That says a lot coming from a girl who usually dreams of chocolate nonstop.

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Delicately flavored with citrusy notes from the dressing, crispy and exquisitely bright, this beet, fennel and apple slaw is the first recipe that I have tried from my new cookbook which I have had on my night stand since I got it for my birthday on Friday. I brought all seemingly ten pounds of it with me on my weekend getaway, have practically holstered it to my side and wake up thinking about recipe after recipe of beautiful root vegetables.

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The pages are smooth and glossy, the photography stark and stunning and every recipe is something mouthwateringly different that insists on being made for the next meal or potluck. And as I devoured every recipe with my eyes, thinking how food has gone so far out there with “foams” and molecular gastronomy and concoctions that taste like one thing but look entirely like another, here we are back at the beginning with roots.

Much like people…

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It’s funny, but the further my life progresses, while I speed through it raising children, ticking off chores on a list and working,  I find I am longing for my roots as a way of getting back to the basics. Lately, I am craving to learn more about my heritage of which I haven’t really been exposed to all that much. And as I continue to put one foot in front of the other, propelling myself forward through life, I just may get around to some digging as well; hopefully I will discover what is below my surface and begin to connect with my own roots.

Raw Beet Slaw with Fennel and Tart Green Apples

Basics of the recipe from Roots by Diane Morgan but personalized by Me.
1-2 medium red beets, depending on size, peeled and cut into matchsticks
3/4 of a fennel bulb, trimmed, halved, cored and cut into matchsticks
1 Granny Smith apple, cored and cut into matchsticks
1/2 c. flat leaf parsley, trimmed, chopped and firmly packed
1/2 c. golden raisins
1/2 c. toasted pepitas (hulled pumpkin seed) or other seed or nut

Dressing
1/3 c. olive oil
1 1/2 T.fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 T. freshly grated orange zest
1- 1 1/2 t. honey (depending on how sweet you like your dressing)
1/2 t. fine sea salt
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper

To make the slaw: Wear disposable plastic gloves if you don’t want bright pink hands if you are using a mandoline.  Peel and trim your beet and then put it through a mandoline to cut the beets into matchsticks. I used my Cuisinart food processor fitted with the small “grate” blade. This worked well and left all of my knuckles in tact and hands free of bright pink dye.

Trim your fennel (cut off fronds), cut in half and then remove the core. Using the mandoline or food processor, cut into matchsticks. Core your apple and cut in fourths and then cut into matchsticks as well. Chop your parsley. Mix together your cut beets, fennel, apple, chopped parsley, golden raisins and pepitas.

To make the dressing: In a liquid measuring cup, whisk together olive oil through honey. Whisk in salt and pepper and taste. Add more honey or salt or pepper depending on your personal liking. Dress the salad and toss gently to coat. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate but remove from refrigerator about 20 minutes before serving. The slaw can be made up to 8 hours in advance.

33 thoughts on “A Book Review: Roots by Diane Morgan {And Raw Beet Slaw!}

  1. What a great mix of flavors and textures! This is what a salad is supposed to look and taste like. The premise behind the cookbook is a good one. I love my root vegetables. :)

  2. That sounds delicious! Happy Birthday!!! I’m a Taurean too :)
    R

  3. I am getting this cookbook to review and can’t wait especially after reading YOUR review!! That slaw is gorgeous. Almost too pretty to eat!

  4. Love everything about this salad — quick, easy, fresh, and so much healthier with homemade dressing. :) Well done review, Geni, I can relate to wanting to dig through family history too. I suppose we get that way at a certain age when our kids ask questions we don’t have answers to, about grandparents long gone.

  5. A beautiful and very nutritious salad!

  6. I make a raw beet salad similar to this, I posted it a few years ago but I bet the fennel gives it a nice flavor! Yum, I’m book marking this one! The dressing sounds phenomenal too!

  7. Although I enjoy eating beets, I have been fearful of eating them raw! Given your fantastic review of both book and recipe, I wil try this soon!

  8. what a great review! You got me hooked- thinking i would love to get this book and I WOULD LOVE to make this slaw. Beets are one of my new favorite veggies

  9. That is a vibrant slaw, nice addition to pale coloured dishes.

  10. I’m not one for fennel, but I do like the color of your slaw!

  11. I would’ve never thought I’d say that raw beets looks amazing. But they do. Very delicious

  12. I love everything about this dish…wow.

  13. Beets are one of my favorite root vegetables, probably because of their vibrant color! What a gorgeous dish. I’ll have to check out that cookbook!

    • I have always been a beet girl too Jeanne. They have so many different sides to them…sweet when roasted, tart when raw…I just love having a new way to eat them and one that is so nutritious too. Thanks for stopping by!

  14. I didn’t even know beet slaw was a thing. I’m completely in love with beets, I’d put them in everything if I could. I’m definitely going to have to try this.

  15. I love every one of these ingredients by themselves…but this combination of them sounds so delicious! What a perfect slaw for the summer! Can’t wait to make it!

  16. Ah beets. We just don’t get along. But I will say that I love how they look and your photos are gorgeous. :)

  17. I love slaw, and I love beets…so I can only imagine how amazing this must taste! Beautiful photos to show off such great and colourful ingredients. It looks soooooo yum!

  18. Never thought of making a raw beet salad, but am totally digging the idea. Thanks for sharing the recipe Geni!!

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