Wednesday, December 13, 2017

December 14, 2017 - This Week's Box Contents, Featuring Horseradish

Cooking With the Box

Well friends, here we are at the end of the season.  I’ve enjoyed sharing recipes and cooking ideas with you throughout the season and look forward to doing so again next year!  Lets see what delicious things we can make with this week’s box contents.

Lets start with this week’s featured vegetable, horseradish.  The Horseradish Sour Cream Dip (See below) is a nice dip to serve for holiday parties.  Make a platter with fresh vegetables or homemade vegetable chips.  Beet chips, butternut squash chips, even sweet potato chips!   If you have leftover dip, serve it with roast beef or salmon. 

Now that you’re well stocked with root vegetables, there are a lot of delicious dishes we can prepare.  Lets start with this recipe for Rustic Roasted Root Vegetable and Goat Cheese Tart.  This tart calls for parsnips, turnips, rutabagas and celery.  In place of the celery, use celeriac and feel free to substitute another root vegetable in place of any of these if you’d like.  Don’t have a rutabaga?  Substitute carrots.  This recipe for Rice Noodles with Stir-Fried Chicken,Turnips & Carrots will make good use of some of the carrots and turnips in this week’s box as well.

With the remainder of this week’s parsnips, consider making Parsnip Biscuits with Black Pepper and Honey.  Serve them for breakfast along with scrambled eggs and these Sweet Potato Maple Hash Browns.
Carrot Bacon picture from

Last week I stumbled across this recipe for Carrot Bacon.  There is no real bacon involved, rather this vegan preparation uses long strips of carrots that are seasoned with smoked paprika and baked to make a bacon-like strip.  You can munch on these as a snack or use them as a garnish for soup, grain dishes, etc.  If you have some larger carrots, those would be the ones to use for making Carrot Bacon.

Trying to figure out what to take to that New Year’s Eve party you were invited to?  How about Real Sour Cream & Onion Dip. You could serve it with Carrot Bacon!

Before we end the season, we need one more recipe for a seasonal take on pizza.  This recipe for Roasted Apple, Butternut Squash and Caramelized Onion Pizza uses white beans as the “sauce” base. 

Have a few sweet potatoes still hanging around?  Why not turn them into a dessert?!  Try this recipe for Deborah Madison’s Sweet Potato Flan.

Some boxes this week will contain escarole, while others will contain radicchio and/or cabbage.  If you receive escarole, consider making this recipe for Stewy White Beans with Escarole, Garlic and Sizzled Rosemary.  If you receive the radicchio, here’s a tasty recipe for Spaghetti with Radicchio & Ricotta.  Serve this on its own or add some sautéed shrimp.  Lastly, if you get cabbage in your box, check out this recipe for Roast Pork and Sweet Potatoes with Spicy Cabbage.  This recipe was recently shared by a member in our Facebook Group.

Picture of Quinoa Stuffed Squash from

 Whether you receive Festival, Carnival or Sugar Dumpling Squash, you may use any of these varieties to make Quinoa Stuffed Squash.  This recipe includes dates and pistachios.  It can stand alone as a meal or you could serve these as a side dish with a pork chop or roasted chicken.

Lastly, here’s a different way to use celeriac.  I found this recipe for a vegetarian burger made with celeriac.  Check out this recipe for Celeriac Burgers. I bet they’d be good served with either the Horseradish Sour Cream Dip (see below) or the Real Onion Dip.

That brings us to the bottom of another CSA box and the conclusion of another CSA Season.  Thank you for joining us for a seasonal eating adventure this year.  I hope you have a wonderful winter and we look forward to growing for you again next year. Next year’s sign-up form will be available on our website very soon!

-Chef Andrea

Vegetable Feature:  Horseradish

Horseradish Whips
We’ve been growing horseradish for many years, however we don’t put it into CSA boxes every year.  Horseradish is a big wholesale crop for us.  It stores amazingly well and can maintain quality for months in storage allowing us to sell it throughout the winter.  You’ll find your horseradish in this week’s box packaged in a small ziplock bag.  We are sending you a 3 oz portion of horseradish whips.  You may be wondering “What is a horseradish whip?”  The whips are my favorite part to use because they really don’t need to be peeled!  A horseradish whip is a small, skinny piece of horseradish that was cut off the main root.  They are not appropriate for a standard wholesale pack, so we trim them off, but can’t bring ourselves to throw them away because they are perfectly fine to use and are actually easier to work with than the larger root pieces!  We also save pieces that are larger than whips but smaller than the big roots we sell.  Typically pieces that are about the diameter of your finger and 10-12 inches long are saved as seed pieces that we plant in the fall for the following year’s crop.

Horseradish is in the brassica family along with cabbage, Brussels sprouts, etc.  It is high in vitamin C as well as other nutrients and is used both in culinary ways as well as in medicinal applications.  Horseradish is very pungent.  It has isothiocyanates, a type of mustard oil, that are released into the air when the flesh of the horseradish root is cut. If you get a whiff of this oil, you may feel your eyes and nose burn a bit.  It’s a similar reaction as cutting into a strong onion.  When you are working with horseradish, do so in small batches and keep a window open for a little ventilation.  The compounds that give horseradish its pungent kick will volatilize into the air.  As such, horseradish is usually added to a recipe towards the end so as to preserve as much of the characteristic horseradish flavor as possible.  Vinegar also helps to stabilize horseradish.  If you’d like to have horseradish available to use in small quantities when you want some, I’d suggest making the prepared horseradish recipe featured in this week’s newsletter.  The addition of vinegar will stabilize the flavor and the horseradish will keep for several weeks in the refrigerator. 

Because the flavor of horseradish can be very strong and pungent, it is used mostly as a condiment or seasoning.  It pairs well with cream, sour cream, crème fraiche, cheese, etc.  Thus, it’s often mixed with one of these dairy products to make a nice cream sauce to serve on beef or fish.  You can also use horseradish to make cocktail sauce and it pairs nicely with beets, roasted root vegetables, beef, salmon, etc. 

Don’t feel like you have to be in a hurry to use the horseradish in this week’s box.  I mentioned previously that it stores very well.  Keep it in the ziplock bag and store it in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it.  If a little surface mold starts to form on the exterior, simply wipe or wash it away.  The root itself will most likely still be just fine to use.  Why is this?  Because horseradish has strong anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties so it rarely ever rots.  That’s also why it’s a healthy food to include in our diets!

Prepared Horseradish

Yield:  1—half pint jar

3 oz fresh horseradish whips
4 Tbsp distilled white vinegar
¼ tsp salt
Sugar, pinch
  1. Cut the horseradish whips into chunks and place them in the food processor.  Pulse to grind.   It will be a bit dry, something like coconut.  Add the vinegar, salt and sugar. 
  2. Have a clean and sterilized jar with a lid and canning ring available nearby.
  3. Add the vinegar, salt and sugar.  Blend to combine well.
  4. Pack the horseradish into the jar and refrigerate. 
Recipe adapted from The Kitchen Ecosystem by Eugenia Bone.

Horseradish Sour Cream Dip

Yield:  2 cups

1 cup sour cream
¾ cup peeled, cored and minced Granny Smith apple
¼ cup lightly packed grated horseradish
2 Tbsp minced onion
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp freshlty ground pepper
¼ cup finely snipped fresh chives  (may substitute with 2-3 tbsp dried chives)
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sour cream, apple, horseradish, onion, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.  Using a rubber spatula, fold in the chives.
  2. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to meld and the dip to thicken.  It can be prepared up to 1 day in advance.  Remove the refrigerator 10 minutes before serving.
This recipe was borrowed from Diane Morgan’s book, Roots.  This dip is excellent served with roasted beets, baked potatoes, toast crisps, or even just potato chips!

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