CSA August 7, 2013

This Week’s CSA

The CSA share this week includes kale, salad mix, Walla Walla onions, red potatoes, broccoli, carrots, summer squash (zucchini or yellow crook neck), cheddar cauliflower, parsley root, oregano, and lemon balm.

Storage Notes

I think most items in the share are straightforward when it comes to storage but additional information can be found at any of the above links.  Walla Walla onions have a high water content so they need to be stored in a cool environment to prolong their storage life.  Cauliflower will do well stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.  The parsley root can also be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.  It should last a few weeks but the greens will only last a few days.  Remove leaves when you are ready to use the root.

Usage Notes

The cheddar cauliflower with its beautiful orange color, is going to taste like the white variety and can be used in the same way.  It takes well to roasting, grilling, steaming, or served raw with your favorite dip.  For those of you who have some peas left from previous weeks’ shares, the recipe for cauliflower and sweet pea pasta is a nice way to incorporate veggies in to a pasta dish.  The veggies this week are also perfect for making the classic pasta primavera.  The link will share the original dish created at the iconic Le Cirque but don’t worry about following it faithfully.  Use it as a guideline and add your favorite veggie to create a rich vegetable-pasta meal.

Parsley root, also known as Hamburg parsley, originated in Germany and is grown for its carrot-like root that tastes like a cross between parsley and celeriac.   This white root has a green top that resembles the herb parsley and can be used as such.  This root vegetable is popular in parts of Europe and is often found in soups.  In addition to soup, parsley root will take well to roasting, mashing (mix with potatoes), boiling, steaming and braising.  The flavor of the root pairs well with other root vegetables, cabbage, potato, onion, barley, horseradish, beef, and chicken.  If the outer peel of the root is tender, it won’t need peeling, just a good scrub to remove small hairs and any dirt.

Recipe

Potato-Parsley Root Latkes

(serves 4-6 as a side dish)

Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated Number 119

Partially cooking the grated potato and parsley root in the microwave ensures for a crispy latke without using as much fat to fry the little cakes.  If making a large batch, cooked and cooled latkes can be frozen for later use.  Grate potatoes and parsley root on the large hole of a box grater or use the shredding attachment on a food processor.

1 1/2 pounds potatoes, unpeeled, scrubbed and shredded

1/2 pound grated parsley root

1/2 grated onion

salt and pepper

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

2 teaspoons minced parsley

vegetable oil

Adjust oven rack to middle position, place rimmed baking sheet on rack, and heat oven to 200 degrees.  Toss potatoes, parsley root, onion and 1 teaspoon salt in a bowl.  Place half of the grated mixture in center of a clean dish towel.  Gather ends together and twist tightly to drain as much liquid as possible, reserving the liquid in a liquid measuring cup.  Transfer squeeze drained mixture to second bowl and repeat process with remaining grated mixture.  Set starchy potato liquid aside and let stand so starch settles to bottom, at least 5 minutes.

Cover potato-parsley root mixture and microwave until just warmed through but not hot, 1 to 2 minutes, stirring mixture with fork every 30 seconds.  Spread mixture evenly over a clean baking sheet and let cool for 10 minutes.  Do not wash out the bowl used to microwave grated mixture.

Pour off water from reserved potato liquid, leaving potato starch in measuring cup.  Add eggs and stir until smooth.  Return cooled potato mixture to bowl.  Add parsley, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and potato starch mixture; toss well to evenly combine.

Line a clean baking sheet with paper towels.  Heat 1/4 inch depth of oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking (350 degrees).  Place 1/4 cup of potato mixture in oil and press with nonstick spatula into 1/3-inch-thick disks.  Repeat until 5 latkes are in pan.  Cook, adjusting heat so fat bubbles around latke edges, until golden brown on bottom, about 3 minutes.  Turn and continue cooking until golden brown on second side, about 3 minutes longer.  Drain on paper towels and transfer to baking sheet in oven to keep warm.  Repeat with remaining potato mixture, adding oil to maintain 1/4-inch depth and returning oil to 350 degrees between batches.  Season with salt and pepper.

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