Tuesday, September 18, 2012

What to Do With Your Share---Week 20

The season is changing. The nights are down into the 40's now and the days are shortening and cooling off. A wonderful time of year.

White Sweet Potatoes
In the fields our attention has turned to the last 5 weeks of the season, and the harvesting of some of our longer term crops. That means the sweet potatoes are being dug. This week's offering, the O'Henry white sweet potatoes look as good as ever. While the drought reduced the yield this year, the quality is high.

As far as eating them, use any sweet potato recipe that you have. Or, as we said last year, "a good way to try these out is to mash them. It really brings out their sweetness and creaminess. Simply cut off any tough spots, cut into large chunks, and then boil or steam until tender. While still hot mash them before adding some salt, butter and milk/cream."

Hakurei Turnips
The tender white turnips that you may remember from Spring are once again in the shares. They are a touch spicy right now, and can use a nice sour dressing to mellow them out. This Spring I tried out at pickling recipe from a book Rebecca got me for my birthday called The Preservation Kitchen.

Chef Paul Virant has filled the book with a wonderful array of unique and flavorful preserving recipes. The Lemon-Pickled Turnips caught my eye and I made a batch. They were wonderful. Below is the canning recipe. Modify the quantities as you see fit to make a nice little dressing for a salad, or let it stand overnight to get more of a pickling effect.

8 cups sliced hakurei turnips
4 tsp kosher salt
3 lemons, zested and juiced
3-1/4 cups water
1-1/2 cups champagne or white wine vinegar
1/2 cup plus 1 tsp sugar
4 teaspoons coriander seeds

Trim off the root end and tops of the turnips. Halve and slice the turnips about 1/4- inch thick. Mix the turnips in a large colander with the salt. Set aside to drain for 1 hour

Grate the lemon zest into a small pot. Halve the lemons and squeeze the juice over the zest. Pour in the water, vinegar and sugar. In a dry saute pan over medium heat, toast the coriander seeds until fragrant. Coarsley crush the coriander and add it to the pot.

Scald 5 pint jars in a large pot of simmering water fitted with a rack--you will use this pot to process the jars. Right before filling, put the jars on the counter. Pack the jars with the turnips, using about 8 ounces per jar. Meanwhile, soak the lids in a pan of hot water to soften the rubber seal.

Bring the brine to a boil. Transfer to a heat-proof pitcher and pour over th turnips, leaving a 1/2-inch space from the rim of the jar. Check the jars for air pockets, adding more brine if necessary to fill the gaps. Wipe the rims with a clean towel, seal with the lids, then screw on the bands until snug but not tight.

Place the jars in the pot with the rack and add enough water to cover the jars by about 1 inch. Bring the water to a boil and process the jars for 15 minutes (start the timer when the water reaches a boil). Turn off the heat and leave the jars in the water for a few minutes. Remove the jars form the water and let cool completely.

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