I was in the farmer's market early Saturday morning, buying parsnips and lusting over organic rabbit.
My son discovered that Mr. McGregor did not have Peter Rabbit's best interests at heart as we pondered a bag of freshly dressed bunny.
While I envisioned braised rabbit with wild mushrooms and perhaps some couscous, my son was busy grilling the market woman on the farmer's means of skinning the rabbit. I grew up around outdoorsman, so I know the drill. It was fun seeing him bridge the gap between what we eat and where it comes from.
The rabbit in 2-3 lbs portions at at $6.99 per pound was out of this week's budget, but will definitely make the menu in coming weeks. If you want your rabbit fresh, buy soon because bunnies apparently get lazy in the summer months, so there are fewer to eat! You can, however, freeze whole rabbit up to a year and pieces up to nine months.
Since I already had lamb breast, an economical and delightfully delicious cut if a bit fatty, my quest was to pair it with some root vegetables for a meal that all went into the oven while I relaxed on the couch and listened to music. Along with a few stalks of celery, the parsnips, carrots, and baby potatoes (red, purple, and white) made the cut.
Parsnips are a new addition to my repertoire and a happy one at that. I love the flavor - a little sweet, a little nutty. They played nicely with my other root vegetables and all made fast friends with the lamb.
Roast Lamb Breast
3-4 pounds lamb breast
1 Tbs kosher salt
4 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 sprigs of rosemary, leaves cleaned from the stem & finely minced
1/4 cup of white balsamic vinegar
drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
At least 24 hours before roasting, clean the lamb breast with cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. Then rub the breast with kosher salt, front and back, following with the garlic and rosemary.
Roasted Parsnips, Carrots & Potatoes
3 medium parsnips, peeled and cut in slices
4 medium carrots, peeled and cut in finger-sized chunks
3 baby purple potatoes, quartered
3 baby white potatoes, quartered
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon herbs of Provence
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup water
In a mixing bowl, coat vegetables with the olive oil, then add salt and herbs. Transfer to a glass, clay baking dish or a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet. Add water. Roast uncovered, tuening gently once or twice during roasting, for 45 minutes to one hour in an oven preheated to 400 degrees Farenheit (200 degrees Celsius). Serve with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to brighten the flavors.