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CSA Cookoff: Roasted fall vegetables with maple butter glaze over crispy Persian rice (Tah-dig)

Parker Farm CSA Share 10/13/2010:1 bunch beets,1 bunch turnips, 1 bunch parsnip, 1 pound green tomatoes, 1 butternut squash, 1 bunch carrots, 1 sugar pumpkin and 1 blue hubbard
squash (what a critter that is!)

This was our last CSA share of the season **sob**. It was an incredibly bountiful season, with a wide array of veggies. So fresh. So packed with flavor and nutrients. Sigh...Thanks, Farmer Steve.

I'll be cooking from the reserves for a few more weeks - blue hubbard squash recommendations are welcome!

This recipe was inspired by a number of things: The maple sugaring season this past spring was not stellar for most folks in northern New England. Now that cooler weather has arrived, people are realizing that the lovely sweetness is a bit harder to come by at a price they're used to. I was so happy to have received a pint from my 9-year-old nephew, who had tapped the trees in his yard before the sap stopped running.

Cooler weather also means roasted vegetables: acorn, delicata, parsnips, turnips...

The rice dish was inspired by Neysa's hilarious post about POM Wonderful Magic Juice last week. I learned how to make this Persian rice dish (Tah-dig) from a dear friend in Orange County. Her traditional family recipe calls for caramelized onions and golden raisins as a finish. I substituted turnip greens for the onion, and added dried cranberries, too.

Roasted fall vegetables with maple butter glaze over crispy Persian rice (Tah-dig)

1 each acorn and delicata squash, halved, seeded and sliced into half rounds

1 large onion, peeled, halved and cut into half rounds

2 parsnips, cut into 1" pieces

1 head cauliflower, cut into 1" pieces

4 organic chicken and apple sausages, or similar "sweet" sausage, cut into 1/2" rounds

1/2 stick organic unsalted butter

1/2 C grade A maple syrup

4 T. fresh chopped rosemary, divided.

3 T. olive oil

Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400° F

1. In a large bowl, combine all of the vegetables and sausage with olive oil and half of the rosemary. generously salt and pepper and toss to distribute.

2. Line two rimmed baking sheets with foil and pour vegetable mixture evenly onto sheets.

3. Roast vegetables for 25 minutes until they are soft and browned.

4. Meanwhile, melt butter in a saucepan, then add syrup and remaining rosemary. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat.

5. Toss together vegetables with maple glaze, adding salt to taste.

6. Eat!

Tah-dig (Persian Rice)

2 C basmati rice, soaked for at least two hours (not essential, but helps)

6 C. water

4 T extra-virgin olive oil

1 t. sea salt

1. Bring salted water to a boil, then add the drained rice. Cook rice for approximately 7 minutes until rice is soft, yet firm to the bite.

2. Drain rice - taking care not to get burned by the steam.

3. Heat a wide, heavy saute pan over medium heat, and rice and spread out evenly in the pan.

4. Using the pointed end of a wooden spoon, poke 4-6 holes in the rice - your spoon should hit the pan each time.

5. Pour olive oil into each of the holes until you sense that the entire surface of the pan is coated, then sprinkle with dried fruit.

6. Take a clean tea towel and wrap the pan's lid, so that the underside of the lid is covered with fabric, and the excess is folded over the top of the lid:

7. Let steam over low-medium heat for 30-40 minutes. Tradition dictates that you not lift the lid - ever! - but I've peeked toward the end to see if there are brown grains forming on the edges.

8. Meanwhile, caramelize onions or saute greens over high heat until crisp and slightly blackened.

9. Once you're confident there is a crust, uncover and place onions/ greens atop the cooked rice. 10. This is the step where the magic happens: Quickly immerse the bottom 1" of your pan in cold water (I do this by filling my big kitchen sink an inch or two. This is supposed to release the rice from the pan. Using potholders and a platter slightly bigger than your pan, carefully invert the pan onto the platter. You should feel the rice release. If not, give the bottom of the pan a good whack with the wooden spoon.

10. At this point you should be looking at a lovely, golden, crunchy and delectable rice crust, covering layers of smokey vegetables, sweet dried fruit, and fluffy white rice. Heaven.

11. Eat!

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Views: 403

Comment by Christa Nelson on October 19, 2010 at 8:57pm
i'm gonna miss your weekly clever creations, Cornelia........do you have plans to keep blogging weekly even though the share season is over?
Comment by Cornelia on October 20, 2010 at 8:07am
Awww, thanks. I'll keep blogging recipes throughout the winter, yes. Maybe not as regularly as in the CSA Cookoff series, but I can't help but take pictures of the dishes I make - it's addictive! :)


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