Wednesday, April 27, 2011
End of Winter Root Roast
Winter is everlasting. Those pink buds on the apple tree? Still closed up, tight little buds facing each 30 degree night and saying no way is it time to bloom. The rain has been endless. The farmers describe their days as pacing and restless, they need to plant, want to plant, but in this driving rain it is muddy and impossible to proceed. They tend to the seedlings in the green house and hope they do not become to root bound as the rain pounds on and on.
For the market customer this means...more carrots, more parsnips, more potatoes, more winter fair. Punctuated here and there by tender greenhouse greens, arugula, micro greens, confetti's of baby lettuces. And ramps, wild and plentiful ramps.
And out of no where, Craig invents and new, spectacular dish from the very, very familiar, and loved, parsnip. How does he do it? Is it the fact of spring, however suppressed by this rain and cold, driving him to newness and invention? We ate this one with our fingers, straight from the plate, all of us noticing that in the spring light the parsnips look so white. In the candlelight of winter they appear so golden. Parsley root is new to us. We found it at Wegmans. Craig, ever resourceful, thought parsley, plus root, looked like a better deal than just buying a bunch of parsley. Turns out, it is delicious. We like it grated raw in a carrot salad, or roasted, as it is here. And the scallions, as big and juicy as you can find, are essential to this recipe.
What you'll need:
Some parsnips and parsley root peeled and split into relatively equal pieces.
Some large scallions.
Salt, pepper and olive oil.
Pre-heat oven to 250 degrees.
Cut the white part from the scallions and finely sliver the green part.
Put the prepped scallion whites, parsnips and parsley root in a large bowl. Splash in a tiny bit of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and gently mix with your hands to coat.
Spread out on a heavy baking sheet, roasting pan or a skillet and put in oven and roast until tender and kind of crispy at the edges.
Sprinkle with a little greenery and serve. This photo has ramp greens, the beautiful leaf from above the bulb. Parsley or scallion greens would be great too.