Spring Salad

What I love about Spring is all the wonderful produce that starts to flood the farmers markets! This spring salad is so easy to make and the asparagus, basil, chives, salad greens, radishes, cheese curds, and maple glazed nuts can all be purchased at your local market! I got my asparagus for this recipe from Coppal House Farm, radishes from Brasen Hill Farm, salad greens from Heron Pond Farm, cheese curds from Bell & Goose Cheese Co., and maple glazed nuts from Anderson’s Mini Maples. This salad works with whatever dressing you prefer and the cheese curds can be omitted to make this a vegan meal.

What is your favorite spring recipe? Let us know in the comments below.

Rhubarb Salsa

Rhubarb may be one of those produce items that leaves some people scratching their heads wondering if it can be used in more than just pie. I’m here to share with you that rhubarb is both a versatile and tasty treat in ways you never expected. This rhubarb salsa is both tangy and slightly sweet (don’t worry it’s not too sweet). This makes enough to serve at a party in my opinion, but you could always just make it for yourself and have salsa for the week. There are many ways to incorporate this into meals, including as a topping to chicken or fish, or you could just be like me, and pair it with some tasty and locally made Vida Tortilla chips.

Rhubarb is in season from April till June and you can find it at your local farmers markets. The rhubarb I purchased for this recipe was from Stout Oak Farm, but I have also seen it at other farm’s including but not limited to White Gate Farm. Rhubarb is a perennial and does contain leaves that are poisonous for human consumption, so make sure you remove those leaves before preparing any recipes. It’s a great source of fiber, calcium, vitamin K, and vitamin C and has been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years.

Fun fact: The poisonous leaves contain high levels of oxalic acid, and historically, this has been used as a stain remover and cleaner.

Do you have any fun ways to utilize rhubarb? Or do you have a favorite farm you get your rhubarb from? Let us know in the comments below.

Melissa’s Post: UNH Students Craft a “Strawberry Frappe” IPA

With the great warm weather we’ve been having, I think a lot of our brains are already springing towards SUMMER!  For this reason, I thought it would be fun to talk about UNH’s new, summery brewery creation!

This past March, UNH students in the university’s Brewing Science Laboratory program put together a new strawberry frappe IPA using strawberries grown as part of the N.H. Agricultural Experiment Station’s organic strawberry breeding program and strawberry season extension research. “Strawberry Milkman” is the third brew that was created thanks to the partnership between the researchers and students at the UNH Brewing Science Lab and the N.H. Agricultural Experiment Station. The new brew also includes strawberries from the TunnelBerries project, a prospective research project that aims to benefit both growers and consumers alike. New Hampshire’s strawberry season traditionally lasts only four to six weeks, during which experiment station researchers harvested strawberries grown in low tunnels for 19 consecutive weeks from mid-July through the week of Thanksgiving. They found that the low tunnels significantly increased the yield of sellable fruit, from an average of about 70% to 83%, a helpful finding for agricultural research.

Strawberry Milkman was developed by undergraduate student Tim Fischer, who says that it contains no bittering hops, but rather New Zealand aroma whirlpool and dry hops, creating more sweetness. “These sweet, cloudy IPAs are quite popular. It is made with a lot of wheat to maximize the protein content of the beer and keep it cloudy. Lactose is added as a sweetness,” states Cheryl Parker, who manages the UNH Brewing Science Lab.

Strawberry Milkman is expected to be available soon locally on-tap at Hop + Grind in Durham. You can also stay current with the newest UNH brews and releases by following the UNH Brewing Science Laboratory on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UNHbrewlab.

Beer-lovers rejoice for all of the interesting, fun new brews UNH students are introducing to the area using locally-grown ingredients, and get out one of these gorgeous days to enjoy an ice-cold Strawberry Milkman!

Erika’s Post: Maple Syrup and Maple Roasted Parsnips

One thing that allows me to get through that last push of winter is the anticipation for maple syrup. Ah, the sugar shacks with the pancakes and the maple bacon, the maple glazed root vegetables, maple candies and more!
Making maple syrup is somewhat of a science and one of the most important factors for getting sap for maple syrup is temperature. Tapping trees for maple syrup usually begins in the middle of February until April when the first buds of leaves begin and when temperatures are in the 30s to 40s and when the night air still dips below freezing. They then boil down the sap to a certain consistency or down to candy over a period of time. It takes about 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of maple syrup!
There are differing grades for maple syrup and this is dependent on the timing of when the tree is tapped. The grading system has been updated since 2015 to better match the Canadian system where now there is no Grade B. Grade A – golden delicate taste maple syrup is light with a delicate flavor and is usually made from tappings earlier in the season when the sugar content is highest and the cooler air keeps the sap cool. The others are Grade A – rich amber taste, Grade A – dark robust taste, and Grade A – very dark strong taste. The darker it is the later and the season the sap and the more rich and nutty the flavor which is better for cooking.
Check out these farm stands at the next farmers market for your maple syrup fix or check out your local sugar shack!

Try this recipe or other in season produce with maple syrup!

Maple Roasted Parsnips
Ingredients:
Sea salt
2 pounds parsnips
1/2 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons maple syrup
Freshly ground black pepper

Optional: 2 tsp thyme, drizzle of bacon fat

Instructions:
Preheat to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop parsnips in boiling water and blanch for 3 minutes. Drain and pat dry. Arrange parsnips on baking sheet and drizzle with oil and maple syrup. Roast parsnips until tender, about 25 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper if desired and serve immediately.