Valley Bounty, March 1, 2014: Maple Meal Menu

It’s fun to put together a full maple menu – especially at the height of maple season – so here are some great ideas to help you to pick and choose when creating the perfect meal for your maple celebration. March is the height of maple season so be sure to stop by these local maple producers and pick up yours!

Maple cocktails: Presented by Serious Eats, these 10 exciting cocktail recipes are sure to add a bit of flair to any meal.

Warm Spinach Salad with Maple Dressing: Brought to you by Red Fire Farm, this salad will be a satisfying addition to any meal. Spinach can be bought locally and is a good way to get your greens during the winter season!

Maple Walnut Parsnips and Sweet Potatoes: Brought to you by Meggin Thwing Eastman’s Happy Localvore blog, this simple and easy roasting dish requires parsnips and sweet potatoes which can both be found locally during this season. You can find many more great recipes involving maple on her blog here.

Maple and Apple Brined Pork: From Brue Aidells and Denis Kelly’s The Complete Meat Cookbook, this maple and apple brined pork recipe is quick and simple to prepare and always a good main dish. The apple cider required by the recipe can also be purchased locally, and remember: local pork is always in season! For a bone-in pork loin, we suggest you brine for 12 to 24 hours—longer is better—and then roast.

Buttermilk Roast Chicken (with maple glaze): From Leverett-based cookbook reviewer Susie Chang. This recipe for roast chicken can be found at the bottom of the webpage along with other great buttermilk recipes featured by NPR. The recipe requires eggs and of course chicken, both of which you can purchase locally!

Butternut Bisque: Brought to you by Chesterfield’s Justamere Tree Farms, home of delicious maple syrup and maple cream, this bisque will add a bit of warmth to any meal. Remember you can get the squash, leeks, and carrots required for this recipe from local farmers as well!

Additional Recipes: Three great maple recipes from Berkshire local Alana Chernila author of the blog Eating From the Ground Up will provide for an additional touch of maple to any maple celebration menu. On her blog you find Maple Apple ChipsMaple Custard, and even Maple Popcorn! Remember you can get your apples locally grown in the Pioneer Valley as well!