Chef Justin Severino

August 5, 2017

Chef Justin SeverinoJustin Severino, chef and co-owner of Cure and Morcilla in Pittsburgh, is no stranger to working with local vegetables. His restaurants focus on intensely fresh cuisine created with local ingredients throughout every season of the year. The result is a culinary reflection of Western Pennsylvania and its farms.

Chef Justin’s culinary exploits and unique style have won him an array of accolades, including several James Beard Award Nominations and The People’s Best New Chef Mid-Atlantic Award from Food & Wine magazine in 2014 and 2015. While Cure and Morcilla continue to enjoy acclaim both nationally and locally, the kitchen continues to focus on the food.

Local vegetables are an integral part of chef Justin’s menus. The abundance of root vegetables from area farms offer rich variety for a myriad of dishes. Here, he shares some tips on working with root vegetables and a delectable recipe for carrot hummus straight from his kitchen.


Chef Justin’s Tips for Root Vegetables

Sourcing and Prepping

As with all seasonal vegetables, go to farmer’s markets and talk to the farmers, and find one you like. Ask the farmer how each root vegetable should be stored, and be sure to peel tough, thick skins on mature roots.

Favorite Cooking Methods

Try par-cooking root vegetables in water and then finishing them in a smoker. It’s especially great if you’re going to fry them. This works amazingly well with beets, parsnips and potatoes.

Recommended Seasonings and Pairings

The earthy flavor of root vegetables goes really well with vanilla. Try using vanilla beans in a parsnip puree. It’s a lovely addition to a scallop dish.


Try this recipe by Chef Justin Severino:
Carrot Hummus


Written by Nathan Greenwood
Photo of Justin Severino by Adam Milliron Photography

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  • As we always say, storage is so crucial for proper #paveggies enjoyment. Thanks for this lovely demonstration @taprootfarmpa #Repost @taprootfarmpa
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Ok y’all, @bonappetitmag has put together #aweekendwithoutplastic campaign so I wanted to share my favorite way to store cooking greens like Kale, Swiss chard, Boc choy...you name it.
🌱first thing I do is wet the whole bunch of greens
🌱then I take a cotton or linen cloth, and wet the whole cloth too...just soak it and ring it out so it’s soaked through, but not dripping.
🌱for this I’m using a furoshiki cloth from @thekitchengardenseries (Philly based!) that I absolutely adore and use all the time for just about everything in the kitchen!
🌱next just wrap up your greens so they are completely covered. Put your bundle into your fridge, and you’re good!  No plastic!
And perfectly stored greens! The greens will last for a close to a week this way, just re-dampen your cloth if it dries out. We can do this!! Less is more ❤️ #taprootfarmpa #taprootfarmcsa #passionforfoodpassionforsustainability
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We love this from-scratch queso recipe featuring PA cheese and homemade salsa using @paveggies! Marisa McClellan of @foodinjars stopped by the Pennsylvania Kitchen to whip up this insanely easy and delightful snack. You can find the recipe on PAEats.com and in Marisa’s latest cookbook, The Food in Jars Kitchen. In this new cookbook you’ll find 140 ways to utilize preserved pantry goodies. We will be launching an Instagram contest this week to giveaway a copy of the book! Stay tuned. 🧀 #PAEats #PennsylvaniaKitchen
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  • Keeping calm and thinking warm thoughts. #paveggies #planting #plantingseason #pennsylvania #vegetables #greenhouse #paproduce

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