By far, one of my favorite foods... why? While lotus root does not have an overpowering taste, the shape and texture are aesthetically pleasing and unique. Lotus root is common in more asian-style cuisine; however, since it is known as the "tofu" of vegetables, it truly absorbs any type of sauce/oil in which is cooks.
If you have never had the experience of enjoying a lotus root, the best textural analogy that I can fathom for you is that it crunches - similar to a partially-cooked daikon radish, slice of jicama or flavorless Asian-pear. However, even when cooked, lotus root maintains a raw, celery-type crisp-texture.
Flavor? Unique as well. I would venture to say that the lotus root shares the same subtle "nuttiness" as a daikon radish. Some have even compared it to the brilliant water chestnut.
Be that as it may... I drove to an asian market in north Dallas in order to find the whimsical vegetable. I was so elated upon finding it... truly and absolutely jovial.
In order to enhance the lotus root - I decided to play with texture, colors and of course, flavor. Enter in... beets. I am an avid beet fan... especially when roasted with coconut oil. With the pink beets, I simply roasted them in tin-foil - coconut oil, Himalayan sea salt, herbs de provence, cayenne pepper and lemon juice. Once fully roasted, I removed form the oven (420 for about 30 minutes) and allowed to cool slightly... when peeled (with gloves on to prevent my hands from staining!) and cut into small diced cubes.
Golden beets... same manner. However, I kept the pink and golden beet separated (otherwise the pink would have discolored the golden beets). Instead of dicing the golden beets, I simply used my mandolin and cut thin slices.
Lotus root. Easy preparation: slice thin with a mandolin. Season with smoked sea salt, cayenne pepper, lemon juice and herbs de provence (help to "brighten" the earthy nutty flavor). Since I used the coconut oil to roast the beets, I sautéed the lotus root in almond oil (on the stove top). Since the root was sliced thin, it only took about 10 minutes to cook thoroughly.
In order to increase the protein intake, I added quinoa (previously cooked), to the middle of the plate. A sprinkle of hemp seeds, chia seeds, toasted cashew nuts and fresh cilantro helped to tie the entire dish together. Topped with fresh water cress to impart one more layer of "nutty" flavor.
Edible Art. Refined. Healthy. Sophisticated.
One could add scallops, shrimp, tilapia, even filet, lamb or duck... when cooked properly, lotus root is a friend to all!
"If you really want to make a friend, go to someone's house and eat with him... the people who give you their food give you their heart..." - Cesar Chavez
Love y'all dearly!!