While we continue to get lettuce and other greens from our fall garden, our last real crop harvest was parsnips.  Planted in April, I basically left them alone, with their above-ground leafy greens shading and keeping down weeds.  I grew two varieties: Harris Model and Hollow Crown, with the former producing on average a better yield; both have a nice nutty flavor.

Wanting to make a dinner that showcased our late fall garden and other local sources, I settled on the following menu, which worked quite nicely: Kibbeh, using ground beef from a one-quarter (cut-up and packaged) cow we purchased from nearby Davis Creek Farm along with mint still thriving in our garden; Mashed Carrots and Turnips, a recipe we’d picked up at the mountain farm exhibit by the Humpback Rocks Visitor Center along the Blue Ridge Parkway, including a golden-top turnip from our garden; and Parsnips Glazed with Sherry, Ginger, Thyme, and Lemon, using some of our just-harvested parsnips along with fresh thyme still growing in our garden.  If you’re interested in the recipes, click on:

Kibbeh Patties

1 pound lean ground beef or lamb
1/2 cup bulgur
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
Parsley sprigs

Cover bulgur in small bowl and cover with water.  Let stand for about 15 minutes until water is absorbed and bulgur is basically soft but still chewy.

Process the mint leaves in a food processor.  Add the onions through the chute and continue until fine.  Add the bulgur, cumin, allspice, salt, and pepper.  Process until combined.

Now add the ground beef and process until the meat is finely minced and combined with the other ingredients; it will ball up in the food processor.

Shape into 2-3 inch patties and fry in olive oil in a skillet until just done, turning once (about 5-6 minutes).  Garnish with parsley if desired.

Mashed Carrots and Turnips

1 pound carrots
1 medium or large turnip
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 tsp caraway seed
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper

Wash, peel, and chop carrots and turnips into chunks.  Cover with water in a saucepan and bring to boil.  Simmer about 15 minutes or until tender, then drain and mash.  Add butter and seasonings; milk or cream may be added to obtain desired consistency.

Glazed Parsnips with Sherry, Ginger. Thyme and Lemon

1 pound parsnips, peeled
1/2 cup chicken broth or water
1-2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
1/4 cup dry sherry
salt and pepper
1 tsp fresh lemon juice

Cut parsnips in half, then halve lengthwise the top half twice and the bottom (narrower) half once (aim at roughly similar sizes).   Remove cores if woody.

Arrange parsnips in a single layer in a skillet.  Add broth, butter, ginger, thyme, and sherry, along with salt to taste.  Cover pan and simmer over medium heat until parsnips are tender, about 5-7 minutes.

Uncover pan and raise heat to reduce liquid and glaze parsnips. Add lemon juice and pepper and serve.

Bon Appetit!