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.
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The final savory chapter in Sarah Copeland's new cookbook, Feast, focuses on a few larger, celebration-sized meals. These recipes take a bit longer to prepare than those in the rest of the book, requiring more attention to detail, but they're worth the time—think paella, vegetable tagine, and silky (bread crumb-free) eggplant parmesan. Her glazed winter vegetable medley is the centerpiece of the chapter.
Quick sautéed root vegetables flavored with honey, soy sauce, and sesame oil, tossed with some fresh shiso leaves for a hearty but light-tasting side dish.