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December harvest

By Penny Stine

Because it's been so warm, this has been a great year to experiment with four-season gardening. Last month, I mulched all the carrots and beets that were still in the ground. Even though I still had a couple carrots in the fridge, my curiosity got the best of me last week, so I had to pull a few to see what they looked liked.



I also decided it was time to pull my last parsnips, which have been in the ground for more than a year now. Since the ground was hard and dry, it was a lot harder than I expected. I suspect their odd shape, with various rootlings and knobs also contributed to the difficulty. Since the carrots and beets were so tiny, I had no problem pulling them. 





After a good washing, I decided the parsnips were still odd and the carrots were still tiny. The beets are pretty, though.










Since snow and colder temperatures were in the forecast, I decided it was time to pull the plug on this, which is either Romanesca broccoli or veronica cauliflower (which I think is more or less the same thing.) I planted both last spring. It never did form a head during irrigation season, so I left it in place. I think if I had watered it more, the head might have gotten a little bigger.


So now I had a collection of odd roots and a tiny head of something. I ended up roasting them all in the oven, and was pretty pleased with the results. I kept the carrots and parsnips separate, mixed with a bit of honey, olive oil and chopped thyme. I peeled the beets, chunked the tiny head of whatever it was into bite-sized pieces, added a couple of small potatoes and some rosemary and roasted them all at 350 for 25 minutes or so.
I would have taken a picture, but I forgot. Sorry.  

Parsnips and beets have been surprise hit in my garden, because I discovered that I actually like them. My husband does, too, so they're going back in the garden in 2013. 


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The Barefoot Contessa has a recipe for Carrots and Parsnips in her Foolproof cook book.  Have you tried it?

No, I haven’t tried the Barefoot Contessa’s recipe. So far, my fave is to roast them in the oven with carrots in a mixture of olive oil, honey and thyme.

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