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Savoring the Seasons

Savoring the Seasons: Got roots?

By MARY MCCLINTOCK

Several years ago, I held a “root vegetable election” and asked readers to send me “campaign speeches” for their favorite root vegetables. I included those campaign speeches in my column and the special food page before the then-annual Greenfield Winter Fare Farmers Market. There were LOTS of root vegetables at that market, and there will be many root vegetables and more at the Greenfield Winter Farmers Market on December 1. Look for potatoes, beets, carrots, parsnips, rutabagas, turnips, radishes, celeriac, and sweet potatoes.

This winter, the Greenfield Winter Farmers Market will be held once a month from December through March in Greenfield High School’s cafeteria. The Kitchen Garden will sell soups, savory tarts, fruit galettes, and focaccias, all made with locally grown ingredients.

So, after you’ve had fun at the farmers market, what to do with the root vegetables you bought?

You can make shredded root vegetable salad with beets, carrots, and celeriac. Or shredded celeriac and apple salad garnished with slices of watermelon radish. Or roasted root vegetables made from just about any combination of root vegetables. Or simply mashed roots – especially potatoes, sweet potatoes or rutabagas – boiled, mashed and served with salt, pepper, and butter. Or cut sweet potatoes, or rutabagas into “french fry” size sticks, toss with olive oil and herbs, and bake into yummy “root fries.”

How about soups? I just found these two in one of my favorite cookbooks, “Simply in Season.” World Eye Bookshop carries this book, “From Asparagus to Zucchini,” and other great sources of “what do I do with produce I got at the farmers market” recipes.

Got roots? Please share YOUR favorite root vegetable recipes.

Greenfield Winter Farmers Market, Saturdays, Dec. 1, Jan. 5, Feb. 2, March 16, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Greenfield High School, 1 Lenox Ave., Greenfield (wheelchair accessible). Fresh local produce, meat, cheese, eggs, pickles, honey, syrup, yarn, sheepskins, jam, and soap. Music by Fire Pond. Soups and baked goods. For information, contact Devon Whitney-Deal at devonwd@gmail.com or (413) 625-9907.

“Food for Change” Film Showing, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2 to 4 p.m., Green Fields Market Mezzanine, Main Street, Greenfield. Showing 15-minute segment of Steve Alves’ feature-length film about food co-operatives that was recently shown at United Nations. Film showings each half hour and discussion with filmmaker. Light refreshments served. For information, see www.foodforchange.coop.

This week we’re eating. . .

Two Soups (from “Simply in Season” by Mary Beth Lind and Cathleen Hockman-Wert)

MAPLE PARSNIP SOUP

By Alison Froese-Stoddard, Winnipeg, MB

3 T. butter (can use part olive oil)

Melt in heavy-bottomed soup pot until beginning to brown.

1 pound parsnips, chopped

2 medium onions, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

Add and saute until onions are translucent but not brown.

6 C. chicken or vegetable broth

¼ tsp. ground nutmeg

Add and bring to a simmer. Cook until parsnips are soft, 40 minutes.

½ C. evaporated milk.

Add and remove from heat. Pour into blender and puree until velvety smooth. Add:

1/3 C. maple syrup

2 T. Dijon mustard (or more for a spicier taste)

Salt to taste

Stir in. Serve garnished with ¾ C. toasted pine nuts or other nuts. Serves 8.

CURRIED CARROT SOUP

By Pamela MacIsaac, Toronto, ON and Doris North, Harrisonburg, VA

1 onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

2 stalks celery, chopped (optional)

In large soup pot saute in 2 T. olive oil until soft.

2 pounds carrots or sweet potatoes (chopped)

6 C. vegetable broth

2 tsp. curry powder

Add and bring to a boil. Simmer until carrots are tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat, cool slightly and puree. Add:

1 tsp. lemon juice or 1 C. apple cider

Salt and pepper to taste

Add and stir well. Serve with a dollop of yogurt or a sprinkle of cilantro leaves.

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