Posts Tagged ‘artichokes’

Eating in April

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

I  am working hard to be creative these days, finishing the last of the vegetables in my root cellar and making lots of sprouts.  I find it amazing that the carrots that I bring up are still of the highest quality, crispy and sweet.  They should remain that way well into May.  The cabbages are looking somewhat worse for wear, but I peel off the outer layers and then store them in the fridge for the next few weeks.

I am trying to eat a meal or two with Jerusalem artichokes every week.  I think I have finally found my favourite way to cook them. Basically I just scrub them well – this is much easier if you eat them on the same day that you harvest them.  Then I cut them in 1″ cubes, with the skin still on, removing any parts that look sketchy.  I parboil the cubes for about 5-10 minutes, drain them and then saute them in oil with some salt and pepper.  They go nice and crispy and brown, just like fried potatoes.

I will soon begin to scrounge my garden.  There is kale and green onions that have survived the winter, as well as some garlic that seems to have naturalized itself on the south side of my house.  All of it is big enough to eat.  Also I see that the sorrel leaves are poking their heads up and should be big enough to pick in a week or two.  My chives are also about a week away from being ready to pick.  Sometimes it feels like these little bits of food don’t add up to much, but I am always surprised by how much food there is when I go to harvest something.  And now that I can get my bicycle out, I should take a trip down the road to my little patch of fiddleheads and see how they are doing.  All in all, there is much more to April than meets the eye!

Cooking in Late March

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

I find it gets more difficult to feel creative about eating locally and seasonally in late March, at least here in Ontario.  I start to feel like I have eaten enough squash and mashed carrot and turnip for this year.  We are enjoying an early spring this year and so I have been harvesting some Jerusalem artichokes – they are nice roasted or parboiled and then sauteed with some salt and pepper.  There are also many interesting recipes for Cream of Jerusalem Artichoke soup on the internet, and one in my book, From Seed to Table!

I also like to make a few salads with chick peas or other legumes, grated carrots, and some kind of sprouts.  Sometimes it helps to think out of the box when it comes to salads -  toasted pumpkin or sunflower seeds, hard boiled eggs, grated cheese, all help to liven up these salads while making them nutritious enough to stand on their own at a meal.  Try adding a grain such as quinoa or barley or making  a vinaigrette with grainy mustard for another nice change.

And know that in a month or so, those first salad greens should be large enough to pick! (If it stays warm like this I think I will plant my first batch of salad greens next week and cover them with a double layer of floating row cover and hope for an early harvest).  For detailed instructions on planting salad greens see the April chapter of From Seed to Table.