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Root vegetables may be most often eaten in the coldest depths of winter, but I actually like them best in early spring. New carrots and radishes are a sweet counterpoint to wintered beets, breathing new life into the tired roots. Add a burst of anise-y fennel and a smattering of chopped nuts, as Jamie Geller does in her new cookbook Joy of Kosher, and you'll have a brilliantly elegant and healthy side dish. Geller's soy and ginger dressing also works wonders on the vegetables, taming any bitterness with its robust layers of flavor.
Why I picked this recipe: With a picture this pretty, how could you say no?
What worked: Ginger and soy sauce are a surprisingly good match for these thin slivers of vegetables, adding gentle heat and umami without distracting from their natural earthy crunch.
What didn't: No problems here.
Suggested tweaks: To make this recipe Kosher for Passover, substitute olive oil for the toasted sesame oil and Passover soy sauce for the soy sauce. For even more color, try adding some slices of chioggia (candy stripe) beets and/or watermelon radishes to the mix. You can also swap around different nuts if you're not a fan or hazelnuts or pistachios.
About the author: Kate Williams is a freelance writer and personal chef living in Berkeley, CA. She is a contributor to The Oxford American, KQED's Bay Area Bites, SFoodie, and Berkeleyside NOSH. She blogs at Cooking Wolves. Follow her @KateHWiliams.