I hope everyone had a good holiday! We’re giving out frozen strawberries this week, along with some sweet parsnips from Jericho Settler’s farm. We ordered parsnip seeds this winter for next spring, so hopefully next winter we will be able to give out our own!
I was unable to get any greens for the share this week, but I should be able to get some for the next pick-up. For this week we still have our own cabbage (I’ve been blown away by how well it’s kept!) and turnips if you want to pass on the cabbage.
This Week’s Produce
1 quart bag our own frozen strawberries ($5)
1.75 – 2 lbs. parsnips (from Jericho Settler’s Farm) ($4.50)
5 lbs. russet (baking) potatoes ($3.50)
3 lbs. sweet potatoes ($4)
3 lbs. onions (from Canada) ($3.5)
2 lbs. beets ($4)
2 lbs. carrots ($3)
2 lbs. turnips or 1 head cabbage ($2)
Total retail value: $29.50
The strawberries were picked and frozen this past June. They were frozen individually and then bagged and vacuum sealed, so they can be broken up pretty easily. You can toss 5 or 6 frozen berries in a blender with a ripe banana and some plain yogurt for a healthy smoothie, or with some vanilla ice cream and milk for an awesome strawberry milkshake!
You can also let your berries thaw and then cut them up and use them for baking or pancakes, or even turn them into jam or preserves. They’ll be mushy when they thaw, so they’re not great to eat plain, but they’re just as good as fresh for baking, jam, smoothies, etc.
My favorite way to use strawberries is to make a simple strawberry sauce with sugar, frozen or thawed berries, and a little water to keep things from burning in the beginning. You can also add some fresh or bottled lemon juice. You just cook everything over medium heat until you get a sauce. I mash up the berries with the back of a wooden spoon as they’re cooking. If you happen to have frozen rhubarb in the freezer you want to add that, too!
This sauce will last at least a week in the fridge, and is great on yogurt, ice cream, oatmeal, pancakes. . . you can even spoon it warm over pound cake or biscuits for a winter-time version of strawberry shortcake.
I’m really excited that we have parsnips this week from our neighbors at Jericho Settler’s Farm. Like most other root veggies, parsnips are fantastic roasted, since roasting really brings out their sweetness. I would recommend tossing equal-sized chunks of parsnip, carrot, and turnip, and onion on a couple of baking trays with some olive oil (toss everything together to coat the veggies) and salt and pepper. You then want to roast at 425 degrees or so until the veggies are soft and starting to brown.
Want some more parsnip recipes and ideas? Check out this slideshow with recipes from the Eating Well website: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes_menus/recipe_slideshows/easy_recipes_for_parsnips#leaderboardad
Beets are one of the healthiest foods out there (they’re loaded with antioxidants), and they’re also delicious! Despite this, there are a lot of beet-haters around (I happen to be married to one). I found this recipe on the New York Times’ health and wellness blog Well. It’s a recipe that even professed beet-haters will enjoy. Although it takes a bit of effort to peel and grate the beets, this salad is worth it; it’s sweet and full of flavor, especially after a day or two. You can also add a few peeled and grated carrots to the mix. To see the some other recipes that they recommend for converting the beet-wary, go to: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/07/09/beet-recipes-even-a-beet-hater-can-love/
Grated Raw Beet Salad
1/2 pound beets
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoon minced chives, mint or parsley (or a combination)
Salt to taste
Leaves of 1 romaine heart
1. Peel the beets with a vegetable peeler, and grate in a food processor fitted with the shredding blade.
2. Combine the orange juice, lemon juice and olive oil. Toss with the beets and herbs. Season to taste with salt. Line a salad bowl or platter with romaine lettuce leaves, top with the grated beets and serve.
Yield: Serves four.
Advance preparation: The grated beets can be dressed and kept in the refrigerator, covered well, for a couple of days. They become more tender but don’t lose their texture, and the mixture becomes even sweeter as the beet juices mingle with the citrus. Toss again before serving.
Russets are great for baking, and for mashed potatoes. They also make fantastic twice-baked potatoes. You can see my twice-baked potato recipe from a previous newsletter here: https://paulmazzascsa.com/?s=twice+baked+potatoes.
Although it’s not in the recipe, I would recommend putting your potatoes through a food mill or ricer for the best results; the electric mixer is fast, but makes for gummier potatoes. A hand masher also works well, but the results might be a bit lumpy.
I’m going to try to bring both medium and large potatoes, so folks can choose the sizes they’d like. The large potatoes are great, and make wonderful baked or twice-baked potatoes, but about half of them will have a little bit of discoloration in the center. You can simply cut this harmless “heart rot” out before or after you cook the potato. It’s not actually rot, and won’t do you any harm if you eat it; it just looks a little odd!