Monday, October 18, 2010
CSA Harvest #21.. with a thank you to our garlic planting helpers! 2011 garlic in the ground!
Well we did it! With the help of 5 CSA members that came out to volunteer their precious Sunday afternoon we were able to get all of the garlic in for next year. We had planned on it taking two Sunday afternoons but we were fueled on salsa, strawberries and dark chocolate. Thank you to each of you who joined us. If you missed this opportunity fear not as next season there will be plenty of projects to go around!
This week we delve deeper into the fall crops with parsnips making their debut as well as tender salad greens. If you are wondering what the orange flecks are in your salad mix those are calendula petals.. edible and they make a beautiful salad as well. We also planted more fennel as a fall crop and the first harvest is ready. If you tried it in the summer and were not thrilled please give it another shot. The combination of cooler growing weather and harvesting it while it is smaller will make it very tender. Parsnips and fennel bulb complement each other in several recipes that we posted below.
The carrots this week are just right, heavy, sweet and crisp. I am crunching on one now as I type. As CSA members you are given the opportunity to eat things in season. A few weeks ago a man came by farmers market and was looking around for locally grown bananas.... in all fairness he was from San Diego where bananas may very well grow side by side with carrots. I had to remind him that he was in Oregon which isn't known for its tropical fruit growing. Our region does produce hundreds of other tasty fruits, vegetables and nuts and to fully appreciate them we must remember why it is so important to eat locally and in season.
When you buy direct from local farmers, your dollars stay within your community, and strengthen the local economy. More than 90¢ of every dollar you spend goes to the farmer, thus preserving farming as a livelihood and farmland.
This is important because as mergers in the food industry have increased, the portion of your food dollar paid to farmers has decreased. Vegetable farmers earn only 21¢ of your dollar; the other 79¢ goes to pay for marketing, distribution, and other costs.
There are other good reasons to eat more local, seasonal food:
*to reduce the energy (and associated CO2 emissions) needed to grow and transport the food we eat
*to avoid paying a premium for food that is scarcer or has travelled a long way (the average food item consumed in the USA has traveled at least 1,500 miles)
*to support the local economy (local farmers keeps .90 cents of every dollar you give them. Most farmers that do not sell directly to the public only get .21 cents of your dollar)
*to reconnect with nature's cycles and the passing of time
*seasonal food is fresher and so tends to be tastier and more nutritious
* This info taken from eattheseasons.com
Enjoy fall's bounty!
Suzie, Asinete, M.A., Violet and Sally
Harvest This Week Includes:
Fennel (recipes below)
Parsnips (recipe ideas below)
Daikon radish (if you enjoy a milder radish peel before eating)
Peppers (spicy and sweet varieties)
How to store it and cook it!
Parsnips are a new crop for Big Lick Farm to grow as they were requested by several folks last year. No other crop we grow takes as long to mature as a parsnip does. We planted these by seed in the cold, rainy days of March and they are just now mature enough to begin harvesting. The roots are a bear to wash. We took our time with these, scrubbing each root individually with a brush. Hands down parsnips are the most time consuming crop to wash that we grow but the taste makes up for the effort! Don't let that gnarled root scare you off! Just follow some of our tips and recipe ideas below and you too will be a parsnip fan.
Store parsnips chilled and loosely wrapped in plastic. Fresh parsnips will last a week or two properly stored.
Cooking With Parsnips
Parsnips have a great, distinctly nutty flavor. When cooked until tender they also have a lovely, starchy texture that works beautifully roasted or added to soups and stews. Parsnips pair particularly well with other root vegetables like potatoes, carrots, and turnips. Unlike carrots they do not taste good raw!
Roasted Winter Vegetables
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Use in any combination and cut into similar sized chunks: parsnips (peeled), small fennel heads, carrots (peeled if you like), chunks of daikon radish (great cooked), beets and/or potatoes. Toss with enough cooking oil to coat the vegetables and season with salt and pepper. Roast in a large glass or ceramic baking dish, uncovered, until browned and tender, 20 to 30 or even 40 or 50 minutes. Stir every 10-15 minutes so that they cook and brown evenly.
Aromatic Parsnips and Carrots
cook time: 50 mins
A fragrant combination of herb seasonings and citrus are infused into fresh parsnips and carrots to create an easy stove top side dish or meatless entree. Prepare this vegetable side dish ahead; chill up to 24 hours, then microwave, stir, and serve.
* 1-1/2 lb. small parsnips, peeled and halved lengthwise
* 1-1/2 lb. small carrots, peeled and halved lengthwise
* 3 Tbsp. olive oil
* 3/4 tsp. fennel seeds, crushed
* 1/2 tsp. ground coriander (optional)
* 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
* 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
* 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
* 1 tsp. finely shredded lemon peel
* 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
* 1/2 tsp. salt
* 1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
* 1 Tbsp. Olive oil
1. Cut any long parsnips and carrots in half crosswise. In a very large skillet, cook parsnips, covered, in small amount of boiling salted water for 2 minutes. Add carrots; return to boiling. Cook for 4 minutes more. Drain; set aside. Carefully wipe skillet dry.
2. Heat the 3 tablespoons oil in same skillet over medium heat. Add fennel seeds, coriander, and cinnamon. Cook about 1 minute or until fragrant, stirring occasionally. Add parsnips, carrots, and garlic. Cook 10 to 12 minutes or until vegetables are tender, turning occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in cilantro, lemon peel and juice, salt, and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil. Makes 10 to 12 servings.
3. Make-Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 2. Transfer to 2-1/2- or 3-quart microwave-safe casserole. Cover; refrigerate up to 24 hours. To serve, microcook, covered with lid or vented plastic wrap, on high (100% power) for 7 to 8 minutes, stirring once. Serve as above.
Better Homes and Gardens
Fennel and Parsnip Puree
yield: Makes 2 servings
Can be prepared in 45 minutes or less.
* 2 large parsnips (about 1/2 pound), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
* 1 small fennel bulb (sometimes called anise), stalks trimmed flush with bulb and bulb chopped (about 1 cup)
* 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
In a saucepan cover parsnips and fennel with salted water and boil, covered, 15 to 20 minutes, or until very tender. Drain vegetables well in a large sieve. In a food processor purée hot vegetables with butter and salt and pepper to taste.
Honeyed Parsnips and Carrots with Rosemary
To add richness, sauté three ounces sliced pancetta until crisp; crumble over before serving.
* 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 pound carrots (about 4 large), peeled, cut into 3x1/4x1/4-inch sticks
* 1 pound large parsnips, peeled, halved lengthwise, cored, cut into 3x1/4x1/4-inch sticks
* Coarse kosher salt
* 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
* 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
* 1 1/2 tablespoons honey (such as heather, chestnut, or wildflower)
Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add carrots and parsnips. Sprinkle with coarse kosher salt and pepper. Sauté until vegetables are beginning to brown at edges, about 12 minutes. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.
Add butter, rosemary, and honey to vegetables. Toss over medium heat until heated through and vegetables are glazed, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with more salt and pepper, if desired.