OK - I am a self confessed vegetable nerd! Not a day goes by that I am not bending someone's ear about the glory of green leaves or the sweetness of a root vegetable...
That is why I get disproportionately excited about a new veggie on the block!
Last week my regular market had a newcomer - the Yacon - a vegetable which has its roots (literally) in the Andes but this year that first experiments of growing them in Limburg in Belgium have taken place and we had the chance to taste the fruits of their labour!
As a root vegetable I played it safe the first time we tried it and chopped it up with a mix of onion, whole garlic cloves in their skin (my favourite way to eat garlic), parsnips, celeriac, sweet potato and butternut squash and roasted them in olive oil in the oven for about an hour.
Near the end of the cooking time I took out the veggies and added in some mushrooms in quarters, a few black olives and some feta and then sprinkled za'atar over it and put them back in the oven for another 5-10 mins.
A delicious, sweet and seasonal mix - so comforting at this time of year.... but the Yacon... wow! It is quite hard to describe... the texture is something like a daikon or Jerusalem artichoke... but the flavour is something else... sweet, nutty... absolutely delicious!
Sadly when I went back this week there were no more Yacons left - so obviously some other people have enjoyed the experiment... are you one of them? Do let me know... I quite fancy slicing it very thinly with a dressing and eating it raw too...
I hope it is a successful experiment and we have some more Yacons coming to town soon!