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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
to
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

Food & Drink: A Few Questions for Jessica Wright

Written by Melissa Pasanen on . Posted in Q&A, Taste of the Landscape

Chef-owner of Hender’s Bake Shop and Café, which opened in July in Waterbury.

Jessica Wright, chef-owner of Hender's Bake Shop and Cafe in Waterbury. Photograph by Jeb Wallace-Brodeur.

Jessica Wright, chef-owner of Hender’s Bake Shop and Cafe in Waterbury. Photograph by Jeb Wallace-Brodeur.

VL: Did you know you wanted to cook professionally from early on?
JW: In Cape Cod, where I grew up, my family owned a bed-and-breakfast and then a coffee shop, where I’d eat muffins every morning waiting for the school bus. After that, my parents catered and ran a restaurant at a golf course. I knew I wanted to go to culinary school, even though my parents tried to talk me out of it. They said, “You’ve seen our lives, how hard we work.” We basically lived at the restaurant; there was no food at home.

VL: How did you end up in Vermont?
JW: I was working in San Diego as an assistant pastry chef in a very busy place that did two concerts every night, serving a full high-end dinner each show. We’d do one dinner and then have 30 minutes to prep for the next one. It was like “Groundhog Day” every day. My sister and brother-in-law were opening a hostel in Warren and asked if I wanted to be their chef. I said yes immediately. It turned out they didn’t need a full-time chef, but I was so glad to be back near my family, and I just fell in love with Vermont: the local food movement, the healthy lifestyle.

VL: Your bake shop has a case full of sweet pastries as well as sandwiches, salads, granola and even house-baked dog treats inspired by your dog Henderson, after whom the shop is named. Any family connections to any of those recipes?
JW: Food has always been a family affair for us, cooking meals together, calling each other about new recipes.
I couldn’t have opened this place without the help of my family. My roasted turkey Thanksgiving sandwich is
in honor of one my mom always had on her golf course restaurant menu, made with from-scratch stuffing and my grandma’s recipe for cranberry sauce with apples and lemon zest. My mom’s blueberry muffin and crumb cake recipes are also really popular. My raspberry-chocolate-chip coffee cake is based on one of [my great-grandma’s] recipes. And my sister came up with the idea for my chocolate-mocha snack cakes.

VL: You make the pottery you serve on in your bake shop. How long have you been doing that?
JW: About three years ago, when I was working in Burlington, I had three days off a week and was baking too much at home. I love baking, but I was eating too much of it. A friend introduced me to a pottery studio, and I just got hooked. I love the creativity, that it’s hands on, the feel and the touch of it. It’s very similar to baking in some ways. I just got it. So many customers kept asking about the pottery, I’m selling some now.

VL: Anything you’ve learned since you’ve opened your own place?
JW: Yes, that how you name and label things is really important. I make these really awesome vegan peanut butter bars. They weren’t selling at all. I replaced the big “vegan” on the label with a tiny sticker and now they’re doing great.

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