Thursday, January 24, 2013

Post Freeze Harvest

A few days late, but still looking pretty good. The parsnips look better than I've ever had them, big and fat and a nice bunch for the shares. This is all of them and they keep well in the fridge if not used right away. For example, we've had a mass of parsnips in our fridge for about three months now, which we are slowly making a dent in, and they are still delicious. There's a leek in there for some allium goodness, and also a small bunch of collard greens and a head of sugarloaf chicory, also known as pan di zucchero. 

The sugarloaf usually keeps pretty well but it definitely has signs of frost damage. I ate one earlier and it was delicious, but they may not keep very well. Some of them have a little browning on the leaf tips, which can just be torn off. There may also be translucent sections, which if eaten right away are fine, but are essentially dead and will allow decay to start if stored warm for too long. Sugarloaf is very much like other chicories, good raw, but also a fine candidate for cooking either by roasting whole or halved, or tossing into a stew. 

The collards are small and haven't grown well, mostly due to slugs. This cold weather should have sweetened them up quite a bit. They are like kale but I find them tougher and so they need a bit of extra cooking.

If you haven't had parsnips before they are like an incredibly sweet, soft carrot. I don't know anyone who eats them raw, they're slightly fibrous for that, but cooked in almost any way they become very sweet. Before sugar was commonly available I've heard that parsnips were used to sweeten pies and I believe it. I also like making latkes with them, either alone, or mixed with potatoes.

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