Happy New Year, food lovers!
2022 will be the 29th season of community supported agriculture here at the farm. That is over 500 weeks of delivering summer shares to thousands of local community members. We have seen a great deal of veggies come and go over the years, and we are still just as excited to grow through another year. Personally, I am excited to experience another season of organic farming because there is so much to learn. My favorite part of the growing season happens to be the very beginning. Greenhouse work is so interesting and requires great attention to detail in order to ensure success throughout the whole season. I am also excited to hang around the critters at the Food Farm. Organic farming really seems to bring out the best in our garter snakes, birds, bugs, and Chester.
I realize it is January and dreaming of spring and summer seems unfair. Especially when we still have literally tons of food in the root cellar. Rutabagas and parsnips have made their debut in your winter shares this month. They’ve been patiently waiting in the root cellar since the end of the growing season (they’re the last few vegetables we harvest every year). One fun (and slightly embarrassing) fact about myself is before working at the Food Farm, I had never tried either of these vegetables. It seems that even as a farm worker, there may still be crops I have yet to try for the first time. Nonetheless, they’re amazing vegetables and one of our amazing CSA members has provided us with the perfect recipes for them.
Hopefully your holiday season was full of amazing food, crafted from either newly discovered recipes or the traditional ones that hold a special place in your celebrations. Appreciating and considering where your food is grown makes it more fun to be a home chef. I hope that you all love having the produce we grow in your homes as much as I do.
Until next time,
In your shares this month
Chioggia Beets, Carrots, Onions, Parsnips, Red and Yellow Potatoes, Rutabagas, Winter Sweet and Delicata Squash
Oven Baked Rutabaga Fries
- 2 lbs rutabaga, cut into 1-inch wedges
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder (optional, but encouraged)
- 1/4 tsp. paprika (opt.)
- 1/4 tsp. ground cumin (opt.)
- 1/4 tsp. ground cayenne pepper (opt.)
- Preheat oven to 450F. Grease a large rimmed baking sheet and set aside.
- In a large bowl, toss the rutabagas with oil until thoroughly coated.
- In a small bowl, combine the salt and spices.
- Sprinkle the spices over the rutabagas and toss to coat. Spread the rutabagas over the prepared sheet in a single layer and bake for 30-35 minutes until browned and crispy.
Quick-Pickled Rutabagas (*pickling fluid from New York Times)
- 1/4-1/2 lbs rutabaga
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup rice-wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 5 tablespoons white sugar
- 2 tsp salt (optional additions (to your taste): peppercorns, coriander seeds, chili pepper, star anise)
- Bring water to a boil and pour into a bowl containing the vinegars, sugar, salt, and optional flavors. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
- Scrub the rutabaga and slice thinly.
- Pour the vinegar mixture over the rutabaga and let them sit at room temp until the liquid is slightly cooled.
- Transfer to the refrigerator for at least one hour before eating. Eat within the week!
Parsnip Flan (Wall Street Journal)
- 1/2 lb parsnips, peeled and finely chopped
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp water
- 1/2 cup half-and-half
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 8 ramekins (for baking the flan)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring a couple quarts of water to a boil.
- Place parsnips in a medium saucepan and cover with 1/2″ water. Cover and bring to a boil. Cook parsnips until very tender, 5-6 minutes. Reserve 2 tbsp of cooking water, then drain parsnips.
- Heat 1/2 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons reserved cooking water in a 10″ skillet over high heat until the sugar liquifies. Continue cooking over high heat, swirling pan occasionally until sugar caramelizes to a dark amber. Immediately divide caramel among ramekins.
- In a blender, puree parsnips with half and half, eggs, vanilla, salt and remaining 1/4 cup sugar until smooth. Pour mixture through a mesh sieve into a bowl and divide among ramekins.
- Place ramekins in a roasting pan and carefully pour boiling water into the pan (avoid splashing!) until it reaches halfway up the ramekins. Bake until the flans are set but slightly wobbly in the center (approx. 15-20 minutes). Transfer ramekins to frig and chill completely.
- To serve, run the tip of a knife around the interior edge of the ramekins and invert the flan with their caramel onto dessert plates.