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Recipe: Gilfeather Turnip and Winter Squash Bhaji

Written by Judy Thurlow on . Posted in Recipes

Gilfeather Turnip and Winter Squash Bhaji

Adapted from Lini Mazumdar,
Anjali Farm and Lini’s Indian Tiffins, South Londonderry

At one point, Lini Mazumdar and her husband, Emmett Dunbar, grew Gilfeather turnips at Anjali Farm, but over the years, they have focused on a few specialty crops like pick-your-own blueberries, chili peppers and heirloom tomato plants. In addition, Lini, who grew up all over India, started offering vibrantly flavored, nourishing, home-cooked Indian meals made from seasonal ingredients. Customers order ahead and come to the farm to pick up their multidish tiffin meals packed in round, stacked, metal lunch containers. This curried vegetable dish could be one of several in a meal or simply served with rice and perhaps the spiced lentil stew known as dal.

Note: The Bengali Five Spice mixture called panch phoron contains black mustard, cumin, fennel, nigella and fenugreek seeds; you can substitute whole cumin seeds.

3 tablespoons coconut oil, divided

1 medium (about 1 pound) Gilfeather turnip, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
yield about 2 generous cups

1 pound winter squash, such as pumpkin, delicata or butternut,
peeled (no need to peel delicata) and cut into ½-inch cubes
to yield about 2 cups

1 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more
to taste

1 tablespoon turmeric powder

1 tablespoon panch phoron spice
mixture (see note above) or
cumin seeds

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon fresh, finely grated
ginger root

1 small dried Thai red chili, crushed, or ¼–½ teaspoon crushed red
pepper, to taste

2 cups firmly packed ribboned kale

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 F. Put one tablespoon of coconut oil in a rimmed sheet pan or large baking dish and place in oven to melt coconut oil. In a medium bowl, toss turnip and squash cubes with 1 teaspoon salt and turmeric powder. Spread in melted coconut oil and toss to coat. Bake 25–30 minutes until a fork easily pierces vegetables and they are slightly colored.

In a medium cast-iron frying pan or other heavy-bottomed sauté pan, set over medium-high heat, toast panch phoron or cumin just until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add remaining 2 tablespoons coconut oil and lower heat to medium. Stir in garlic, ginger, and chili or crushed red pepper. Cook, stirring, about 2 minutes until colored. (Add a splash of water if ginger sticks to bottom of pan.) Add roasted turnips and squash along with kale and lemon juice. Stir to combine and toss for 3 to 4 minutes until kale is wilted. Taste and add more salt or hot pepper as desired. Serves 4–6.

Original article by Melissa Pasanen from the Spring 2017 issue of Vermont Life 
Photo by Oliver Parini

Recipe: Gilfeather Turnip, Root Vegetable and Apple Slaw

Written by Judy Thurlow on . Posted in Recipes

Gilfeather Turnip, Root Vegetable and Apple Slaw

Adapted from chef David Smith, Artisan Restaurant at Four Columns Inn, Newfane

Cooking in close proximity to the birthplace of the Gilfeather turnip, chef David Smith explores beyond the expected to use the turnip raw in this sweet, crunchy slaw. It’s a refreshing change during a season when many local vegetables are mashed or roasted and pairs beautifully with almost anything, from roasted meats to sautéed seafood.

1 large (about 1½ pounds) Gilfeather turnip, peeled

1 small (8-ounce) kohlrabi, peeled

1 large (4-ounce) carrot, peeled

1 small (8-ounce) celery root, peeled

1 large lemon, zested and juiced to yield about ¼ cup juice

¼ cup apple cider

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 large Honey Crisp apple, not peeled

2 tablespoons minced shallot

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

¼ cup buttermilk

¼ cup crème fraÎche or sour cream

1–2 tablespoons maple syrup, to taste

2 teaspoons coarse salt, plus more to taste

½ teaspoon pepper (preferably white), plus more to taste

Fill a large bowl with cold water. Cut peeled turnip, kohlrabi, carrot and celery root into 1-inch slices and place in cold water. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together lemon zest and juice, apple cider and apple cider vinegar. A few pieces at a time, remove root vegetable slices from water, pat dry and coarsely shred using a food processor or hand grater. Immediately toss shredded vegetables into the lemon mixture. Using a sharp knife, cut apple into slender matchsticks and add to vegetables.

In another small bowl, whisk together shallot, mustard, buttermilk, crème fraîche, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, salt and pepper. Pour over shredded vegetables and apple and toss to combine. Refrigerate for at least an hour. Taste and add more maple syrup, salt and pepper as desired. Makes about 7–8 cups slaw, serving about 6–8.

Original article by Melissa Pasanen from the Spring 2017 issue of Vermont Life 
Photo by Oliver Parini

Beware the Stereotype

Written by Judy Thurlow on . Posted in Way of (Vermont) Life

Su16 Cover

Summer 2016, photographed by Daria Bishop.

Editor’s note: The following is from Summer 2016’s Inside VL department.

“Fossil-fueled, noisy, hell-bent and anything but agricultural, Thunder Road fits no stereotype of Vermont.” So begins Managing Editor Bill Anderson’s introduction to our photo essay on Thunder Road, Barre’s quarter-mile, highbanked, paved speedway (“Imported from Barre”). Yet, as Anderson points out, Thunder Road is an integral part of summer here, and racing roots run deep among many. Ken Squier, who founded the track in 1961, is NASCAR royalty; he is credited with convincing CBS that television viewers would actually watch the Daytona 500 in its entirety and then served as the lap-by-lap commentator for nearly 25 years.

Our cover photograph challenges another well-established Vermont stereotype — that everyone who lives here is white, and old, and a farmer. True, the state is among the whitest in the country, and we have the second-highest median age (behind Maine), but more interesting are some lesser-known statistics: Not only are we, like the rest of the country, becoming less white every day, the median age of African-Americans here is 24.7, eight years younger than the national average.

Halima Said, who appears on our cover, was born in a refugee camp in Kenya after her parents fled Somalia. Since first grade, she has spent time at Burlington’s King Street Center, a nonprofit social service agency that offers programs for low-income Vermonters, about 60 percent of whom are children of refugees. For 20 years, King Street has operated a lemonade stand in Burlington, making it a summer institution right alongside the street performers and outdoor dining on Church Street. As writer Tim Johnson (“Cool Job”) explains, the purpose of the lemonade stand is not to make a profit, but, like many other programs offered at King Street, to teach life and business skills. One look at Halima, and the other beautiful children photographed by Daria Bishop for this story, and you will want them all to have every opportunity available.

For Halima’s family, Vermont brings peace, as it does for another group of Vermonters afflicted by war: our veterans. In “Catch and Release,” Matt Crawford tells of a program at the Brattleboro Retreat, a mental health facility that treats depression, addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder. Three years ago, the Retreat began offering fly fishing excursions as part of its therapy for vets and first responders. The focus required for fly fishing can help calm their thoughts, allowing them to be mindful only of the currents and the cast.

Crawford adroitly describes the motion necessary for fly fishing: “an angler’s feet must be secure and balanced while the upper body rocks to the gentle rhythm of the cast.” It seems to me that Crawford’s artful description could be interpreted as more than physical instructions for angling success. It gives a way for these damaged warriors to accept the dichotomy of their lives, proving that it is possible to be rocked by events they have experienced, yet remain secure and balanced. Fly fishing is the perfect metaphor for accepting two realities at once.

So, too, can Vermont be many things at once. We can welcome raucous Thunder Road adrenaline junkies and tranquility-seeking fly fisherman; young refugees from Somalia and farmers who live their entire lives on the hillsides of Vermont. Vermont is progressing, yet steady; ambitious, yet serene: We are in the midst of an elegant dance into the future.

Mary Hegarty Nowlan, Editor

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