One of the greatest losses the world faces is the rapidly diminishing availability of heirloom produce. While I’m no fan of Michael Pollan’s hypocritical and, in my humble opinion, very misguided perspectives on the so-called virtues of omnivorism, it was his book The Botany Of Desire, which I read in my high school botany class, that first alerted me to monocrop issues when I was 17. Through Pollan, I learned how plant diversity has been seriously undermined in the past century by human preferences and influences. I am disappointed that Pollan’s nostalgic foodism (for more on this topic, I suggest checking out Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s excellent podcast on the subject of “pasturbating”) contributes to his erroneous and dangerous conclusions about eating animals and animal byproducts, but I will forever remember and be grateful to him for being the person who showed me the importance of heirloom produce.
Last week, I found myself at the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market buying heaps of gorgeous produce. I just moved to Los Angeles a little over a week ago, and my friend Josia was determined not to let any significant amount of time pass before we hit up the mecca of beach-side produce. It was amazing to breathe in fresh Pacific Ocean air as I filled my canvas bag with purple carrots, heirloom root vegetables, thick and robust curly kale, and more.
A few days later, our friend Puki came over to the little apartment Court and I share in Hollywood for dinner and we made spirulina salad. We decided that we wanted something a bit heartier in addition, when I thought I would make some raw parsnip rice (note: this is an amazing dish, I highly recommend it!). Then, it dawned on me that I could make parsnip into fries, and use the rutabaga I got as well. It worked out beautifully! Here is the recipe:
Heirloom Rutabaga-Parsnip Fries
Preheat oven to 385 degrees. Cut rutabaga and parsnip into desired shapes, and then thinly coat with coconut oil and salt. Roast for 40-50 minutes, depending on desired texture. Enjoy!