My friend Melanie recently moved near an Asian grocery store, which has become one of my new favorite places to explore. I recently discovered this:
What, you might ask, is that?
This is lotus root. I've been looking forward to finding some lotus root for a few months, so I could try out the recipe for Maple-Roasted Lotus Root in Alicia Silverstone's cookbook The Kind Diet. The cookbook contains recipes that are good for people, animals and the planet.
Of course, lotus root isn't available everywhere, but I think you could make this delicious fall dish with any root vegetable. The recipes in The Kind Diet often involve Asian ingredients because Alicia is eats both vegan and macrobiotic, but I often make substitutions when I cook from it. For example, most of the dishes use shoyu (fancy soy sauce) instead of salt, but I use sea salt instead.
Here you see the the dish before cooking. It's a tasty mix of lotus root, leeks, sunchokes and garlic. You roast for about half an hour at 375 degrees and half-way through cooking, toss with maple syrup and shoyu ... or salt if you are me.
It would be a wonderful side dish at any fancy fall meal, but I just ate it as a snack.