This Christmas season was, by far, the busiest holiday season in my memory. At some point, I just had to take a “one day at a time” approach to everything and worry about the rest as it came. Make it through this Christmas pageant, make it through this party, make it through this family visit, make it through this other party, make it through yet another party, and then worry about the rest. The problem with worrying about the rest later is that sometimes later sneaks up on you. And that’s exactly what happened with Christmas dinner this year. I was hosting a small dinner for 4 adults and 2 kids, and when it came down to the wire, I had no idea what to make and precious little time to shop. But as luck would have it, we had received a CSA box the Thursday before Christmas. I decided to look no further than my very refrigerator filled with fresh veggies to create the entire meal. With this, I had to buy nothing more than a little cheese and a main protein to create the fully rounded meal.
I apologize in advance for the pictures. I neglected to photograph until we were halfway through the meal, so the pictures are a little half-eaten. This year, our CSA Christmas featured:
Japanese yams – a close cousin to sweet potatoes. With a little salt, pepper, and olive oil, I roasted these at 425 until they were tender. Since this was the first time we had received this veggie, I wanted a simple preparation so we could really taste the yam.
Cauliflower browned with cheese, prepared exactly the same as the brussels sprouts we received last year. But, you know, with cauliflower.
The main dish – rack of lamb. I’ve never prepared lamb before, so it was somewhat fool-hearty to take it on for Christmas dinner with guests. I purchased a rack of 8 lamb chops, approximately 3 lbs total. I placed it bone-side down in a roasting pan. I trimmed the excess fat from the meat side. Then I covered the top and sides with a thin layer of dijon mustard (about 2 T). Over that, a crust of 1/3 c chopped parsley (from the box!), 1/2 c breadcrumbs, 2 cloves of minced garlic, salt and pepper was pressed into the mustard. Roast, uncovered, for 25-35 minutes or until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 130 degrees.
White potatoes, roasted at 425 until tender, then tossed with salt, pepper, olive oil and minced parsley.
And the winning dish from the evening – parsley turnips. I honestly never though I’d see the day when people were fighting over the last turnips at a table filled with tamales, lamb, and tons of other vegetables. But these were the star. The preparation was simple. I blanched two pounds of quartered turnips for 5 minutes in boiling salted water. Then I drained the water and returned the turnips to the pot. I added 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter and enough water to barely cover the turnips. I let it simmer on medium-low for 20 minutes, or until the turnip were tender and the water had boiled away. I tossed the still hot turnips with another 2 T of butter and 1/3 c minced parsley. Delicious!
Not featured here are dessert photos. By that time in the evening, it was just too much. Plus, those were the only things that didn’t have a CSA element to them. Should you be curious, it was cherry pie and a poached pear tart with frangipan filling.