At the Winter Market: Turnips for $1.50 a pound.
Turnips are one of our favorite vegetables; the pungent flavor is refreshing and fortifying. They go well with rich and heavy foods. They are simple to handle and cook, and a pleasure to eat when you find the right recipe. Here are a few ways to prepare the humble turnip that will really make it shine.
1. Scalloped Turnips
This recipe is a personal favorite of my family
- 6 to 8 turnips, peeled and sliced into 1/8 inch thick rounds
- 1 cup (or enough to cover the turnips in the dish) heavy cream
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- Preheat the oven to 350*.
- Butter a casserole dish.
- Place the turnip slices in a layer on the bottom of the dish and sprinkle with salt & pepper and thyme.
- Repeat until the dish is almost full (leave one inch at the top), or you run out of turnips.
- Pour the cream over the turnips.
- Bake until brown and bubbly – 45 minutes to one hour.
- Cool for a few minutes before serving.
In order to prevent spilling in the oven be sure to leave one inch of the top of the dish, and/or place the dish on a cookie sheet in the oven.
2. Turnip Gratin
Here is a similar recipe, that we have not tried, but it looks mighty tasty.
3. Roasted Turnips
Cooking in the oven intensifies and sweetens the flavor of turnips. Cook with beets, parsnips, carrots, potatoes, garlic, and onion. It is easy to vary the ingredients and adjust the seasoning to match whatever else in being served.
It is hard to go wrong with this basic method.
- Peel the turnips and cut into blocks.
- Prepare any other vegetables you plan to use. Consider the cooking speed of the different vegetables, and cut the slower cooking ones in proportionately smaller pieces.
- Coat with olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Add any other herbs and seasonings (I usually favor rosemary or thyme. Add a small amount of maple syrup for a slightly sweet dish.)
- Cook in preheated oven until vegetables are tender.
Alternately, add chicken broth and cook without covering till most of the broth has cooked off, for a tasty glaze.
Here are a few links to particular recipes that look tasty.
4. Boiled Turnips
The simplest has been saved for last.
To enjoy the flavour of turnips unalloyed, boil them. It’s easy: if you can use a knife and boil water you’re ready for this recipe. Use as many or as few turnips as you wish (just make sure they fit in your pot — they should be fully submerged and floating freely in the water.)
- Set a pot of water to boil.
- Peel, like you would an apple or potato, and then dice the turnips into ½ inch pieces (no need to be precise).
- Add the turnips to the boiling water (a pinch of salt wouldn’t hurt).
- Cook until soft, but not mushy, and then drain the water.
- Serve with butter, salt, and pepper.
If they are not to be eaten immediately cool rapidly by dunking in cold water, then reheat when your ready to serve.