Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

Roasted Root Vegetables-To Your Health

Although I have not mentioned this on Circle of Food, I have been partaking in the Tucson Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program since September 2009.

I have been writing about it for another blog called To Market to Food Market for the Tucson Citizen.

Eat your roasted root vegetables

What I really like about this concept of paying in advance and then picking up produce at a locally predesignated time and place is 1) the produce pops with flavor. 2) I’m supporting a sustainable business, 3) I’m eating seasonally, and 4) I am eating produce (and loving it) that I would never buy in the store or farmers market.

I split my share with Sam B. so we take turns going every other week. It would be overwhelming for me to have this much produce on a weekly basis.

This being the winter, the shares are heavy into greens, root vegetables, and citrus.

I found out that I have a whole new appreciation for greens with mustard greens being my favorite so far. At first I feared them but now look forward to adding greens to soups, pastas, sauces, and stir fries.

Prior to the CSA, I never roasted beets in my life but now I crave them as well as the beet greens.

Previously, I didn’t know a parsnip from a turnip from a rutabaga. These were all vegetables that I remember my grandmother used and I haven’t come face to face with them in decades.

Tonight I decided to roast carrots and rutabaga. I found adequate instructions on the Web and then kind of combined the two recipes.

For the rutabaga, the comments on this blog convinced me that I was in the right place. I have to go back and add my own thankful comments.

To roast the rutabaga, I preheated the oven to 375-degrees, washed the produce and scrubbed/remove the “hair”. Then I cut into chunks, placed on a cookie sheet lined with foil, sprayed generously with olive oil spray, dashed with Sassy Salt and lots of freshly ground pepper. I sprinkled about a teaspoon of sugar to add to the browning (according to the recipe) and baked for 30 minutes. They were not soft, so turned up the heat to 400-degrees and they were done with 10 minutes.

To roast the carrots, I washed and peeled and cut into sticks (see photo above), used the temperature as above, did the whole cookie sheet thing as above. Instead of salt & pepper, I switched spice gears and sprinkled with powdered ginger and cumin and a bit of sugar. They also cooked for about 35 to 40 minutes until soft.

Both for plated and drizzled with balsamic vinegar.

While the carrots were good, the rutabaga was other worldly.

  1. I first learned about parsnips from my mother-in-law. She was a wonderful cook. They are so sweet! It’s a shame my mother did not know about these when I was growing up. I remember mostly canned vegetables. The fresh vegetables give me more a sense of the earth – they make cooking more enjoyable.

    How common are these cooperatives that you belong to? How did you happen to “share” your slice with Sam B. – did you know him beforehand?

  2. Yeah, we only ate nasty canned vegetables too and iceberg lettuce but really good tomatoes from my father’s tomato gardening.

    Check out this link to find a CSA near you:

    I split my share because 1- it’s less costly to split, 2-going weekly would be too much work in the preparation department, and 3-I wouldn’t want to have to be in that part of town during certain hours on a weekly basis.

    I split my share with Sam B. who I know from being a local writer but I looking for a CSA partner on Twitter and he responded. This particular CSA encourages splitting shares and will try to match people.

    Sam said that he and his wife are committed to eating more fresh produce and this fits into their goals.

    Tucson has other CSAs. I will try to compile a list soon, not all encourage sharing.

    My friend Cynthia used to pick up her CSA at the Sunday morning farmers market and she had to do it weekly. I picked up her share once when she was on vacation.

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