You don’t need to be a full-blown
locavore to grok the need to eat locally.
With California fruits and veggies
devastated by an unseasonable frost, prices for much of the produce we normally
find on local shelves have shot through the roof. (Don’t cry too hard — lettuce
is about five bucks a head in Winnipeg right now.)
Add to that the ever-growing need to
cut greenhouse gas emissions (sub-text: don’t buy produce shipped halfway round
the world), and to support our farming neighbours, and you can come up with at
least one good reason to source locally-grown produce.
So why not do all of the above, plus
investigate a few radical, you could say ugly, veggies you’ve never tried
before that have been grown right in Pemberton Valley? Bonus: they’re tasty
good for you.
All the root veggies described below
are biennials — that means when they’re harvested, the plant is storing up
energy to make seeds the following year. You eat the roots, you get the energy.
So take a trip up to North Arm Farm
in Pemberton and stock up on what Jordan Sturdy calls weird root vegetables.
Here’s a primer:
“B” is for burdock
Yes, burdock supplies those annoying
burrs that stick to our socks. But it has also been used medicinally for
centuries, as a diuretic, a blood purifier, as an oil to restore hair loss. But
burdock root also makes a tasty side dish. Japanese cooking uses it in a number
of ways, pickled and often dyed orange, in miso soup with pork, or as
. Now you, too, can cook up one of
these amazing roots, which can be up to two feet long. If you like, soak
julienned strips in water for 5-10 minutes before cooking, or blanche it. Pan
fry it in butter, recommends Jordan, or rub it with oil, salt and pepper and
roast it in a 325-degree oven for 20-30 minutes, and enjoy a sweet, smooth
veggie high in fibre and calcium, and low in calories.
“C” is for crosnes, crazy carrots