Beyond The Baked Potato

BY OLIVIA MILTNER

The appeal of spring, summer and fall vegetables, with their bright colors and light textures, is an undeniable sign of freshness and bounty. Winter veggies stored away in a root cellar? Less romantic. But that doesn’t stop Columbus restaurants from employing some creativity so that you can eat local year-round.

Celeriac is one of those strange root vegetables that find their way onto produce shelves when the weather turns chilly. It has a bulbous, white-ish bottom with small roots hanging onto it and leafy celery-like stalks growing from the top. But unlike those who may be bewildered by this vegetable, also known as celery root, Rockmill Tavern Chef Jay Kleven has a secret love for it.

“We prefer more challenging roots, tubers and rhizomes,” Kleven said. “How do we get people to enjoy vegetables that are hearty and sometimes not full of flavor? How do we transform those things so we get a product that really highlights wintertime and highlights cuddling up and staying warm and that hearty feeling in your belly?”

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