Jerry Traunfeld -- award-winning chef at The Herbfarm near Seattle for 17 years -- cooks wisps of root vegetables together, briefly and with restraint, so they stay full of life and sweetness. Note: Before you commit to ribboning a full batch, you should be on good terms with your vegetable peeler (or mandoline) -- or you can always halve the batch or enlist a friend. Adapted slightly from The Herbal Kitchen: Cooking with Fragrance and Flavor (William Morrow, 2005) —Genius Recipes
2 pounds medium root vegetables, such as carrots, parsnips, burdock, rutabagas, yams, parsley root, or salsify (avoid beets)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup coarsely chopped sage
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Wash and peel the roots and discard the peelings. Continue to peel the vegetables from their tops to the root tips to produce ribbons, rotating the roots on their axis a quarter turn after each strip is peeled, until you're left with cores that are too small to work with. (You can snack on these or save them for stock.) Alternately, you may use a mandoline.
Melt the butter with the sage in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir for a minute to partially cook the sage. Add the root ribbons and toss them with tongs until they begin to wilt. Add the salt, a good grinding of black pepper, the maple syrup, lemon juice, and about 3/4 cup of water.
Continue to cook the vegetables over medium heat, turning them with tongs every minute or so, until all the liquid boils away and the ribbons are glazed and tender, about 10 minutes total. Serve right away, or cool and reheat in the sklllet when ready to serve.