The Roots of a Winter Menu
by Kristy Aleksich
Salted Vine Kitchen & Bar
When it comes to fall and winter dishes, some of nature’s heartiest and healthiest creations are the true stars of the menu. From parsnips to beets, pumpkin to carrots and beyond, the root vegetable can be used in a multitude of ways and Squamish’s chefs are no stranger to manipulating these tasty underground ingredients into fabulous eats for us all to enjoy.
Located in a fertile valley, Squamish farms embrace the change in seasons and start digging out these earthy powerhouse vegetables and providing them to our local restaurants who peel, prepare, and create fantastical creations with them. Found in the Squamish Valley, Nutrient Dense Farms supplies Squamish eateries with a plethora of fresh, lovingly grown veggies for their menus. An aspiring bio-dynamic farm in the heart of the Squamish Valley. Their goal was to create a farm that uses methods to stimulate the farm’s inherent fertility. Turnips, squash, potatoes, rutabaga, sunchokes and celeriac are the main root vegetables they grow, and they can often be found at the Squamish Farmers’ Market on Saturdays or providing their crops via the CSA Harvest Box or weekly Fresh Sheet available to local restaurants, chefs, and retailers.
We’re lucky in Squamish because our mild climate allows for a longer-running Farmers’ Market, and even when the main market shuts down in early December, a winter market starts up over at the Adventure Centre. On any given Saturday you can find local meat, cheese and vegetable purveyors selling their products and crops.
The Salted Vine Kitchen & Bar loves the change in season- for with the change in season comes the return of some of their most popular menu items. A devotee of root vegetables year-round, you’ll often find fun garnishes like watermelon radishes and sunchoke chips adorned on their plates. The beet salad is a fan favourite and come fall you’ll see sides such as grilled carrots, nugget potatoes, roasted Linzer potatoes and celeriac puree. Chef Michael James uses both Nutrient Dense Farm and Pemberton’s North Arm Farm for his varieties of potatoes and carrots, as well as his beets, celeriac and sunchokes.
Zephyr Cafe: Roots in Wraps
Over at Zephyr Café in Downtown Squamish, they aim to satisfy vegans and vegetarians alike with their fall and winter comfort foods like soups, wraps and hearty bowls. Roasting their veggies and wrapping them in a wholesome tortilla snuggled up with dates, goat and mozzarella cheeses is a treat any day of the week. Or try digging into their ‘Squash-getti’ bowl, topped with fresh marinara sauce and pecan balls. Not even the adjoining 2ChillGelato can escape the temptation of rooty goodness – try their pumpkin gelato as a finishing indulgence to a lacklustre winter’s day and see how your mood takes a turn for the better.
Crabapple Cafe yam fries
Known for their community vibe and some of the best breakfast eats in town, the Crabapple Café goes to great lengths to ensure that their ingredients are organic, local, and sustainable. This vegan-friendly eatery loads up their popular ‘Crabapple Buddha Wrap’ with roasted seasonal vegetables and their daily homemade soups often feature our favourite root stars like carrot, sweet potato, ginger, onions and more.
Cork & Craft Beetroot Salad
Cork and Craft Taphouse is down with the root veg and house pickles a variety of them for their charcuterie and cheese boards. You’ll also find pickled daikon, radish and carrot atop their tacos, salads and duck or tofu Bahn Mi sandwiches. Savour their maple roasted sweet potatoes, fresh-cut fries or local beets in their grilled stone fruit and beet salad. Chef Kirstin Vince even manages to sneak carrots into her vegan mac and cheese dish, blending it with Kennebec potatoes to create a creamy sauce that offers another layer of flavour. Moving through fall and into winter she will be highlighting nourishing soups and roasted vegetables in an ever-changing rotation of these pantry staples.
These versatile vegetables can be transformed into so many dishes you won’t be left for want this season. As the most nutrient-dense veggies in the world, they not only taste good but are good for you. So dive into a delicious dish of these superfoods in Squamish, and get to the root of Squamish’s delicious winter menus.
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