Thursday, May 21, 2015

Vegetable Feature: Rhubarb & Parsnips

Parsnip & Ginger Meatballs with Rhubarb Barbecue Sauce
by Andrea Yoder
Yield:  12-14 Meatballs

1 Tbsp sunflower oil
½ cup minced green onion (bulb & green tops)
⅓ cup minced green garlic (bulb & green tops
1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
½ cup finely shredded parsnips
1# ground pork
1 egg, beaten slightly
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Rhubarb Barbecue Sauce (see recipe below)

Heat oil in a small sauté pan over medium heat.  When the pan is hot, add the green onion, green garlic & ginger.  Sauté for 2-3 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and fragrant.  Remove from heat and stir in the shredded parsnips.  Set aside to cool to lukewarm.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine ground pork, egg, Worcestershire sauce, salt and black pepper.  Add the cooled vegetable mixture and mix to distribute all the ingredients evenly.
Form the mixture into meatballs approximately 1 ½ inches in diameter.  You should be able to make 12 to 14 meatballs.
Place the meatballs in a 9 x 13 inch baking pan and bake for 20-25 minutes at 375°F. Remove from the oven and transfer the meatballs to an 8 x 8 inch pan or another smaller baking dish that will fit the meatballs in a single layer.  Pour the rhubarb sauce over the top of the meatballs and make sure all the meat is covered.  Put the meatballs back in the oven and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling and has more of a baked appearance.  Remove from the oven and serve warm.

Rhubarb Barbecue Sauce
1 lb rhubarb, approximately 3 cups diced
⅔  cup orange juice
2-3 Tbsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp soy sauce
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients in a medium sauté pan.  Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat.  Simmer until the rhubarb is soft and falling apart and the liquid has reduced by about half.
Remove from heat and blend the sauce in a food processor or blender.  The sauce should be the consistency of applesauce.  If it is too thin, return the sauce to the pan and simmer over low heat until the sauce thickens.  If the sauce is too thick, thin it out with a little bit of orange juice or water.
Set aside at room temperature until you are ready to add it to the meatballs.

Parsnip Pie
Yield:  9-inch pie
1- 9-inch pie crust, unbaked
2# parsnips, peeled & diced (approximately 6 cups)
½ cup water
2 Tbsp butter, softened
½ cup plus 2 Tbsp honey 
2 Tbsp orange zest
2 eggs, lightly beaten
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp mace
¼ tsp allspice
¼ tsp powdered cloves
1 tsp fresh lemon juice

Put the parsnips and water in a medium saucepan, cover and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.  Cook the parsnips until soft & tender.  Remove from the heat and pour off the cooking liquid into a separate bowl.  Reserve the liquid.  Let the parsnips cool to lukewarm in the pan for about 10 minutes.
While the parsnips are cooking, preheat the oven to 425°F.  Prick the bottom of the pastry dough all over and bake for 5 minutes.  Remove the crust from the oven and lower the oven temperature to 375°F.   
When the parsnips are cooled, puree them in a food processor until smooth.  The puree should be thick, but you can add a little bit of the cooking liquid if needed to obtain a smooth consistency.  You should have 3 cups of parsnip puree for the filling.  
In a medium mixing bowl, combine 3 cups of parsnip puree with the remaining ingredients.  Beat all the other ingredients together until smooth, reserving the 2 additional tablespoons of honey.  Pour the parsnip filling into the partially baked shell and drizzle the remaining honey over the top.  Bake 50-60 minutes or until the filling is firm in the center.  
Serve with a pitcher of heavy cream or a bowl of lightly whipped cream after the pie has cooled to room temperature.                                                                          

One of our faithful farmer’s market customers shared this recipe with us this spring.   This recipe was adapted from The Fannie Farmer Baking Cookbook by Marion Cunningham.  If you have been stockpiling parsnips, this is a good way to put them to use!

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