Monday, February 9, 2015

Week 8: Forgotten Alliums

Check out all this garlic we left to dry in a dark corner of our bar/barn last September! We completely forgot it was there. Now members get to eat it.

My camera can take spooky night vision pictures.
The winter radishes that showed up in the last share were intentionally held back to add some variety to the later winter shares, but holding back the garlic (and a few onions!) that will be included in the eighth and final share this week was entirely unintentional. Our allium harvest was more than a little disappointing this year, but we harvested what we could when the time came and set it all out to cure. Like the good optimists that we are, we then proceeded to harvest our more successful crops (like winter squash, carrots, rutabaga, cabbage...) and tried to put our failures out of our minds. Apparently we succeeded.

Along with the garlic and onions members will receive the following this week: Cabbage, Rutabaga, Onions, Carrots, Dry Beans, Fresh Rosemary, and Winter Squash.

The winter squash will be nutty delica and/or eastern rise. Both are kobocha or Japanese Pumpkin type squash with dense, sweet, relatively dry flesh. Both are good simply baked and eaten with a bit of butter, but they also lend themselves to more interesting preparations. Like Kabocha no Nimono or Kabocha Salad.

The majority of the dry beans that go out this week will be a type called Hutterite Soup Beans. These beans have a lovely smooth, almost waxy texture and a not-too-strong beany flavor. I like them in a very simple soup. Combine the soaked beans (I like to quick soak beans), some water or stock, dried greens (if you haven't used all of the dried greens you got in the 7th share, use 'em now), onion and a bit of chopped rutabaga or cabbage and simmer everything together until the beans are tender. Add salt at the end because cooking beans in salted water tends to make them tough. A bit of rosemary would be a lovely addition here.

I am sure that more than a few of you have a back log of rutabaga eyeing you in your fridge. I confess that, at times, I too am daunted by the baga. However, Scott has found a simple solution. About a week ago he picked up a rutabaga, washed and trimmed it, then slow roasted it whole in the oven. The result was a rutabaga with the texture of a baked sweet potato and a lot of delicious flavor. A few folks have asked me about recipes that hide the rutabaga flavor, this isn't one, but it does transform the flavor into something seriously yummy.

Slow Roasted Rutabaga with Maple Syrup

This recipe, with its maple syrupy goodness, is sweet and appealing. However, this is not the only way to use slow roasted rutabaga. Get creative!
  • One whole rutabaga, washed and trimmed but not peeled
  • Two Tablespoons butter
  • One Tablespoon maple syrup
  • A pinch ground nutmeg
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees

Place your whole, trimmed rutabaga directly on your oven rack and roast until tender, about two hours.

When done, the skin will be crisp and pulled away from the flesh,
which will have turned somewhat golden.
Let the rutabaga cool off a bit. In the meantime, melt the butter and maple syrup in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir in salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste.

Once it is cool enough to handle, pull the peel away from the flesh of the rutabaga and cut the flesh into thick slices.

Arrange the slices on a large plate and drizzle the maple butter over them.

Like this.

No comments:

Post a Comment