This past week closed with merriment for Greg and I as we celebrated Jonas’s first birthday! Jonas enjoyed a big juicy tomato from yours truly at the Bath Farmer’s Market.
New this week are PARSNIPS . These pale yellow or ivory colored and bulbous carrot-like vegetables are one of the tastiest and most appealing root vegetables.
The History: For centuries in Europe they were a ubiquitous and nutritious staple food. Before sugar was widely available parsnips were used to sweeten dishes such as cakes and jams. Their popularity declined following the introduction of the potato, and this decline continued as sugar became more readily available. The parsnip is now not commonly eaten outside N. European countries.
Nutrition: Parsnips are a good source of vitamin C, fiber, folate and potassium.
Storage: Keep in a perforated, unsealed plastic bag in the bottom of the fridge. They can last for 2 or 3 weeks but keep a check and use them before they get soft or withered.
Preparing: Wash, peel, trim both ends and cut according to use.
How to use: Raw parsnip is good grated in a salad. Roasting or steaming are the best cooking methods (boiled parsnip can be a bit watery). Steam parsnip chunks until soft (10 – 15 minutes). Roast parsnip in a moderate oven for around 20 minutes for chunks, 30 – 40 minutes for whole parsnips.
Maple Glazed Parsnips and Sweet Potatoes (side dish)
prep: 15 mins total time: 45 mins servings: 6
- 1 1/4 pounds parsnips
- 1 1/4 pounds sweet potatoes, quartered lengthwise, then cut diagonally into 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- Chopped parsley, (optional)
Step 1 Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Peel and cut parsnips as directed above; then cut on a diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick pieces.
Step 2 On a large rimmed baking sheet (or two smaller baking sheets), toss parsnips and sweet potatoes with oil; season generously with salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer. Roast until tender and golden, tossing once or twice, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
Step 3 In a small bowl, stir together maple syrup and mustard. Pour over vegetables; toss to coat. Sprinkle with parsley, if desired. Serve immediately.
Rissoto with Parsnips and Greens
1/2 pound parsnips, not too large
Salt and black pepper
1/2 pound kale, broccoli rabe , turnip greens, or mustard greens
1 large onion, finely diced
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1/4 cup dry white wine or vermouth
4 cups unsalted chicken or vegetable broth, or more if necessary
2 tablespoons butter
3 garlic cloves, minced
8 sage leaves, roughly chopped
Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese, for grating.
1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Peel the parsnips, quarter them lengthwise, and remove the tough core with a paring knife. Cut into 1/2-inch random shapes, put in a roasting pan, season with salt and coat with 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Roast until tender and lightly browned, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven.
2. Remove the stems from the greens and cut them into 1/2-inch-wide ribbons. Bring a pot of water to a boil over high heat, add salt and cook very briefly. Drain, cool and squeeze dry. Set aside.
3. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a heavy bottomed soup pot or large saucepan over medium-high heat, then add the onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook till softened, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir together with the onions until the onions are barely brown, about 2 minutes. Add the white wine or vermouth and cook until it evaporates. Add 2 cups broth and adjust the heat to a brisk simmer. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring well with a wooden spoon every minute or so. When the broth is absorbed, add 1 cup more and continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Stir in the last cup of broth and cook for another 5 minutes, until the rice is cooked, but the grains are still firm. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding another splash of broth if necessary. Turn off the heat.
4. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and the butter in a wide, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and sage and let sizzle without browning, about 1 minute. Add the roasted parsnips and chopped greens, season lightly with salt and pepper, and stir to coat and heat through, about 2 minutes more.
5. Transfer the risotto to a warm serving dish. Spoon the vegetables over and fold them gently into the rice. Serve with grated pecorino or Parmesan cheese.
Yield: 6 generous servings.
In your first Fall (officially on Sept 22) CSA box
Swiss Chard/ Kale
Tomatoes (looking like the last week)
Patty Pan Zucchini
Yellow onions or German Garlic