Greetings from the farm—and welcome to February! No matter if the current iteration of Punxsutawney Phil spotted his shadow or not, February has at least brought a few early glimpses of spring to Bella Luna Farms:
Bookended by rainy mornings and dark, cozy evenings, our recent string of 50-degree afternoons has encouraged the resident animals to venture outside their warm, straw-lined stalls and coops. The ‘girls’, still thick with their cashmere winter coats, nibble on hay and tidbits of grass under the eaves of the barn, clamouring to say hello as we go by; the donkey lazes in his paddock; and the chickens are always busy scratching and pecking around their outdoor enclosure. We, too, try to take advantage of the longer afternoons, getting compost prepped for spring gardening, gathering herbs from the greenhouse, collecting fresh eggs and visiting the creamery to check on the cheeses aging in our cave.
Much of this time of year is still spent in the warm and cozy farmhouse kitchen, prepping recipes and seasonal produce for the weekly box delivery. February is prime season for hearty and healthy root vegetables (no doubt you’ve noticed from the plethora in your box each week!) and though these veggies are perhaps less colorful, and often less well-known than their summer companions, they are true examples of eating seasonally in the Northwest. This is why the theme and tone of your box changes as we capture a snapshot of each unique growing season—even this one, chock-full of ‘dirt-lovers’ such as carrots, parsnips, radishes and turnips.
Never fear, spring is on the way no matter what that groundhog says, and our favorite warmer weather crops will return again. In the meantime we’ll endeavor to find new and delicious ways to enjoy our roots and winter greens—be sure to keep checking our weekly recipes for suggestions. Here are a few of our recent favorites to tide you over until spring truly arrives:
Roasted Root Vegetables with Balsamic Vinegar
Tossed with fresh thyme, parsley and butter, plus a splash of balsamic vinegar, this recipe works well with any number of root vegetables.
Spicy Honey-Glazed Parsnips
Drizzled with chili-honey butter, this roasted parsnip recipe from Bon Appetit is a real winner.
Roasted Turnips, Shallots and Garlic with Rosemary
Seasoned with fragrant herbs, this classic recipe from Cook’s Illustrated is a guaranteed success as either a side or vegetarian main dish.
Braised Turnips & Carrots
Simmered in rich chicken stock, this dish is finished with lemon juice and thyme for fresh appeal.
Balsamic-Glazed Root Vegetables
An herb-packed marinade infuses fresh flavor into winter produce staples like carrots and parsnips.