November 4, 2009: This week’s featured fruits and vegetables are: apples, celery, cauliflower, head lettuce, purple broccoli, white turnips with tops and a jug of cider.
Farmer Pam speaks enthusiastically about the turnips:
White turnips are nice and sweet. They may be eaten raw, grated into salad, or baked or boiled and then mashed – some people like to do a turnip/potatoes mash – yummy!
For those new to turnips, there are many delicious possibilities out there. (This site has several dozen recipes, as well as some basic turnip tips, if you scroll down to the bottom. For example, one can use turnip greens in recipes that call for kale or spinach – very handy!) Here is a variety of recipes in very different styles, all of which I found intriguing.
For a basic vegetable side dish, Veggies in Vinaigrette showcases not only turnips, but also cauliflower and broccoli, as found in this week’s box.
Those looking for hearty cold-weather soups might try Sweet Potato Soup, which blends turnips with white and sweet potatoes in a sweet and creamy soup that sounds great for this time of year.
As for main dishes, a wide variety of cuisines use turnips in tasty ways. This Cider Pork Chop Dinner combines turnips with carrots, potatoes, and onions, and this recipe for Vegetable Cornish Pasties leans on the same set of vegetables. For a marked departure from these traditional English-style entrees, though, try turnips in either Israeli Moroccan Couscous or Kashmiri Style Kidney Beans with Turnips, both of which look like great fun.
Food For Thought:
Two big environmental concerns for farming are the climate-changing emissions produced by farm machinery and the fossil-fuel-intensive fertilizers necessary to increases crop yields.
What if the one could cancel out the other?
Utilizing an intriguing technique pioneered by Gary Lewis of BioAgtive, an Australian wheat farmer named Ian Linklater has adapted his farm equipment to plow his tractor emissions back into the soil to use as fertilizer. Linklater reports that the technique has saved him hundreds of thousands of (Australian) dollars in fertilizer costs, while producing yields comparable to those he would have gotten with fertilizer.
Scientists are now evaluating this technique; it will be fascinating to hear what they eventually conclude.