Parsnips and Ripening Butternut Squash

Person Author: Helene Coleman Calender November 7, 2012 Posted Tags: , , Comment 2 Comments

Last Sunday, in between the rain showers, we managed to get down to the allotment for a couple of hours. When we started our allotment we were given a strip of parsnip seeds in a planting tape which we planted straight away. We harvested our first batch of these last weekend. They are definitely the neatest vegetable that we have sown, as they grew in a lovely straight line and we are really rather pleased with how they turned out. The parsnips seemed to grow well in our sandy soil too and didn’t require much love and attention, so we’ll definitely be planting those again next year.

Back in the spring, we planted out our butternut squash that we’d grown from seed called ‘Rugosa’. They did really well over the past couple of months but during September they really failed to ripen and turn that lovely golden colour. So we decided to harvest them a few weeks ago before the cold weather really set in and we had the first frosts. The squash are currently sitting on our windowsill in our kitchen, but we’re not really having too much luck in them ripening, so if anyone can offer any advice on how we can ripen them, it would be appreciated!

For the month of November we’ve decided to go vegetarian (Vegvember), so we’ve really been enjoying eating lots of seasonal veg, especially those from our own plot. There really is something very special about growing and eating your own produce and the parsnips that we ate were really rather tasty!

So, to use our freshly harvested parsnips, Steve made a Parsnip, Puy Lentil and Watercress Salad, courtesy of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Veg Cookbook. Around 6-7 small to medium parsnips were peeled and chopped into roughly the same sized shapes, dressed in rapeseed oil, salt and pepper and roasted for 40 minutes, turning once or twice. Meanwhile Steve cooked about 150g of puy lentils for 30 minutes. The lentils were put into a vinaigrette of 1tsp honey, 1tsp English mustard, 1 garlic glove crushed with salt, juice of 1 lemon, 4tbsp rapeseed oil and loads of salt and pepper. The lentils were spread onto the serving plate and topped with the roasted parsnip and watercress and some freshly grated parmesan. It was lovely!


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