Everyone needs a midwinter pick-me-up, and Sean’s colorful snack seems like just the ticket! Root vegetables can get repetitive and a little heavy, but slicing them thin and getting them delightfully crispy makes them just different enough to be addictive. I like to eat these with an assortment of dips; hummus, a simple guacamole, maybe a salty tapenade…happy munching! -Amy
Roots are strange old vegetables. They live a dark and secret life underground, detached from us humans in a place we can never go. Of course they’re more a part of this earth than we are, but there’s something slightly alien about root vegetables. With gnarly, twisted faces, strange hairy beards and long witchy fingers, they’re definitely not glamorous. I suppose their looks might have something to do with their neglect. Sometimes I forget about roots for months on end, but I truly believe they are the unsung heroes of the kitchen. For those of us living in colder climes, we should praise roots for standing by us, whilst all other vegetables have long since abandoned the fight against frost.
Root vegetables are an interesting alternative to the potato in any meal – swap potato for celeriac in chowder, swap mashed potatoes for rutabaga mash or try this recipe: swapping potato chips for root vegetables chips. They are sweeter than potato chips, slightly softer but somehow have a heartier crunch. With a liberal sprinkle of the Lemon Rosemary salt, these chips are far more elegant than any potato chip. Served up before a meal, the sweet and salty combination leaves any guest’s palate nicely seduced. The salt is worth making anytime, or as a great little gift for any foodie friend – it’s simple but used as an everyday seasoning, it brings any dish to life.
Root Veggie Chips with Lemon Rosemary Sea Salt
For the chips:
- 6-7 mixed root vegetables (celeriac, sweet potato, carrot, parsnip, turnip, beets)
- 48 fl. oz canola oil
For the salt:
- 1 ½ cups kosher salt
- ½ cup fresh rosemary
- 2 lemons – zest only
- 2 cups of flaky sea salt (such as English Maldon)
Make the salt first, as it will keep indefinitely. Remove the stalks from the rosemary and add to a food processor. Add the lemon zest and kosher salt. Pulse until the rosemary is blended into the salt.
Put the flaky sea salt in a bowl and stir the kosher salt mix into it until combined. Heat the oven to 150˚F and spread the salt out onto a baking sheet. Bake for about 30-40 minutes, stirring once or twice.
Either add to jars and give away as gifts, or keep: it’s ready to use.
For the chips, peel the roots and slice them as thin as humanly possibly. A mandoline is a useful little tool here. With smaller vegetables like carrots and parsnips, it’s often better to shave them with a veg peeler.
Add the vegetables to a bowl. Sprinkle with 1 tsp regular salt (not the rosemary salt), mix and let them sit for 15-20 minutes – the less water the vegetables contain, the better they will fry. Rinse and pat dry with kitchen paper.
Pour the oil into a tall-sided saucepan. The oil should be about an inch deep. Heat the oil up to about 350˚F, but of course, it will be very hot, so do be careful. To test the heat, drop one slice of root into the oil, when it sizzles, the oil is ready.
Carefully places batches of roots into the oil. Fry the chips until crisp, maybe 3-4 minutes, turning the roots over now and again. When they start to gain a bit of colour remove them and let them dry on kitchen towel.
Sprinkle with the lemon-rosemary seasalt whilst warm, but let the chips cool completely before serving.
Photos taken and styled by Sean St. John.
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