Friday, April 12, 2013

A few new ways to eat parsnips

In the shoulder season of early spring, the pickings for fresh food can be slim some weeks. You might find an overwintered green which has survived and has started to regrow, like kale under mulch, but it grows slowly, and you wait and wait while cheering it on. You might have an overwintered bed of arugula which wants to bolt and get bitter every time you turn around...and it finally gets away from you. You might pick a planting of spinach hard on a sunny day, only to have it turn cloudy and cold for the next few days, which slows down the regrowth. Or you might get so excited about your pea shoots that you mow them all down and then have none to eat for the next week! I'm not saying it's always like this on Whatley Farm, but we're learning as we grow, and every year is different. What you need to have in your toolbox if you want to eat local year-round and savor the season are lots of different ways to prepare the same vegetables. Today I'll share a few new ways to eat parsnips.

At Thanksgiving last year, we had a Parsnip Gratin which was wonderful. The recipe was provided by Sylvia   Fountaine on her Feasting at Home blog (also the beautiful photo of the dish you see here). Click here to see the recipe for Parsnip Gratin with Gruyere and Thyme. If you look around on Sylvia's blog you'll find lots of other nice recipes using seasonal produce, including this one which we want to try for Roasted Parsnip Soup.

Parsnips can be mashed, roasted, grated into salad or slaw. Each time, parsnips carry the frosty sweetness of winter along with the vitality of spring growth. It is a flavor to look forward to every spring, and when they're gone, they're gone, so enjoy them while you can!

We'll also have a baby spring salad mix, baby spinach, and eggs. So even in a time of slim pickings, we can enjoy great salads, omelettes, and parsnips--let us count the ways in which we love you! Hope to see you later at the Topsham Fairgrounds for the Midcoast Winter Farmers Market, from 1-6 PM--

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