We made it! through the winter, through the stores in the root cellar, through all the snow (we can make it through some more, right?). I like winter a lot, but I’m glad it isn’t forever. It is nice to walk into a store and leave my jacket in the car, and it’s nice to walk on sidewalks again.
Though we look forward to it, this time of year doesn’t get any blue ribbons for presentation, that’s for sure. The melting snow reveals the half-rotted detritus of last fall. Walking out of the new greenhouse yesterday with freshly harvested spinach, and past the field with some of last year’s broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts sure was a contrast of scents.
All that mess and decomposition makes the next season’s bounty possible. The debris in gardens and yards and forests makes space for insects and small critters to winter over, and all the organic matter odoriferously returning to the soil is a feast to some microscopic life form or two. Life and death are always tangled up together; sometimes in our lives, sometimes in our yards.
I am really looking forward to this next season’s produce. I’ll miss the parsnips, carrots and potatoes when they’re gone, but for farm lunches I get really excited about cooking vegetables that cook fast, like bok choi or peppers. Or tomato mayonnaise sandwiches. That’s cooking, right?
I hope that as your spring moves forward (and it is moving forward, even if it snows again) you enjoy these last offerings from the root cellar (and the first from the greenhouse!) Thank you for participating with us in the season’s cycle. Your support of our CSA makes our planning and planting through the years possible.
Until June, and for the sweater-shedding crew,
In your share this month:
Beets – Orange and Purple Carrots – Onions – Parsnips – Red and Yellow Potatoes – Rutabaga – and Spinach & Greens Mix!
Note: the spinach has made it through the whole winter in the greenhouse and gets a little freeze-dried in the cold weather. It’s a good idea to give it a little soak in cold water to rehydrate it a bit. Enjoy!
Raw rutabaga and purple carrot salad
- 1 rutabaga
- 3 purple carrots (any carrots work – these are just pretty in the salad)
- 1 large apple
- 1/2 cup walnuts chopped (optional)
For the dressing:
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp honey
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
Shred the rutabaga, carrots and apple in a food processer, spiralizer, or grater (or do small matchsticks). Add the walnuts (optional).
In a separate bowl, combine the ingredients for the dressing and whisk until smooth. Pour over the salad ingredients and toss until coated.
Enjoy chilled or at room temperature!
Potato, Scallion and Kale Cakes
- 8-12 scallions
- 1 handful spinach leaves, rolled in a stack and sliced into very thin ribbons
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse or kosher salt (or less)
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1/3 cup fresh bread crumbs
- 1 1/2 cups cold leftover mashed potatoes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Clean and trim the scallions, leaving about 2 inches of green stems; reserve the darker green tops for garnish and salad additions. Cook in boiling water until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain, wring out well, and chop finely. Place the scallions in a medium-sized bowl, add the spinach, eggs, nutmeg (if using), salt, pepper, bread crumbs and potatoes and stir to combine. The batter will be loose and wet; this is just fine.
Heat the oils in a large skillet over medium-high heat until very hot but not smoking. Use about 2 tablespoons batter (I used a cookie scoop that holds slightly less) per pancake, flattening them as they hit the pan. Cook until golden brown underneath, just a couple minutes, before flipping them and cooking them on the reverse side until golden and crisp as well. Drain on paper towels, but be gentle as they are still fragile. You can keep them warm in a 200 degree oven while cooking off the rest of the batter, adding more oil as needed and letting pan cool between batches if it gets too hot.
Serve scattered with reserved scallion stems, if desired, topped with an egg or alongside a dollop of sour cream or plain yogurt. They also make a wonderful meal with a big salad. Leftovers keep well in the fridge for a few days