Mar 12 2013

Hunterdon Land Trust Farmers’ Market Open March 17, 11 am to 1 pm

The land trust’s Farmers’ Market will be open this Sunday March 17th from 11-1 at the Historic Dvoor Farm on the Route 12 Circle. In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, we have “vegetable of the month” facts and recipes to share. We will also have copies for you to use as you shop at the market on Sunday.


March’s Vegetable of the Month: TURNIPS

In honor of the Irish, the vegetable of the month is TURNIPS. As Ireland has a wet climate, it’s the perfect place for growing turnips. Like potatoes, turnips are inexpensive, easy to cook, and can be added to a variety of meals.

Selecting and Preparing Turnips

Look for turnips with smooth skin. They should feel firm and heavy with crisp green tops. Check for a sweet aroma. Those that are small have the sweetest, most tender flavor. The smaller turnips can be eaten raw, such as when sliced and added to salads. The larger the turnip, the more woody it tends to be.

Turnips are available year-round but are best during peak season which is October through March.

Raw turnips will stay fresh in your refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Before cooking turnips, clean them by scrubbing with a vegetable brush under running water. Cut away the greens (which can be saved; they are edible and very nutritious). Peel, if desired using a vegetable peeler.

Turnips can be sliced, diced, chopped, or left whole depending on their size and cooking technique you choose.

Nutritional information:

Turnips are a low calorie source of potassium and vitamin C. They provide 14% of the RDA of potassium and 20% of the RDA for Vitamin C. One cup of boiled, unsalted turnips contains only 34 calories. The majority of these calories come from carbohydrates of which there are 7.9 g per cup. One cup of cooked turnips contains 4.7 g of sugar and 3.1 g of fiber.

Ideas for using turnips in meals:

Sauteed turnips: Peel and dice turnips. Place 1 teaspoon olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add turnips. Add a few tablespoons of water and cover with lid. Sauté for 10-25 minutes until tender-crisp.

Mashed turnips: Boil turnips until tender, and mash as you would potatoes. Tip: If you find turnips bitter, add a white potato to the pot to eliminate any bitterness.

Raw turnips: Grate and use in salads or coleslaws.

Irish Vegetable Soup

This thick vegetarian soup is made from a selection of fresh vegetables. The recipe serves 6, and each serving provides 7 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein.

3 carrots, chipped                                                                     ½ onion, chopped

3 large potatoes, peeled and cubed                                    ¼ cup dry potato flakes (optional)

1 parsnip, peeled and diced                                                   salt, pepper, mace (or allspice), maple syrup to taste

1 turnip, peeled and diced                                                     1 cup vegetable stock, or more as needed

1 leek, sliced and thoroughly rinsed 1/2 cup dry white wine

Place the onions and leeks in soup pot with 2T olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt. Cook until onions and leeks are soft. Add wine and cook on high heat until alcohol fragrance is gone. Add carrots, potatoes, parsnips, and turnips. Add enough stock to cover. Bring to simmer and cook with pot lid askew until the vegetables are tender (about 30 minutes). Puree soup in a blender or using a stick blender.  Return to the saucepan and stir in stock to reach your desired thickness. Heat to a simmer and season with salt and pepper. Add mace and/or maple syrup to taste.

Serve and enjoy.

If you’re looking for more inspiration, Joanna Machini of Purely Farm has shared another pork recipe with us. If you are in a hurry for a hot meal, try this delicious recipe—just 30 minutes of prep time!

Joanna’s Pork Chipped Steak

1 package Purely Pork chipped steak
Chopped peppers and onions
Salt and pepper as well as other favorite seasonings
Jar of last season’s tomato sauce or can of tomato sauce
3/4—1 c dry Vermouth or white wine
Grated cheese

In large skillet, sauté chopped peppers and onions in olive oil over medium heat.  When veggies begin to caramelize move towards outside edge of pan.  Add one package Purely Pork Chipped Steak to center of pan while pulling apart by hand.  Slightly raise heat, add seasonings, chop and turn meat.  Once pork is mostly browned, mix with veggies; be careful not to over cook meat.  Add sauce and let come to a slow boil.  Cook a few minutes, add vermouth and mix.  After boiling resumes, lower heat to gentle simmer and cover.  Cook 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Turn off heat, mix in cheese, cover and let sit 5 minutes.  Serve over rolls, pasta or rice.

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