Don't Turnip Your Nose At This!

Each week when I pick up my veggies the first thing that we all dive for are the white turnips.  The kids and I usually devour them like apples before we even get home, but today I hoarded them in the bottom of the bag and we all munched on the broccoli instead (which was just as big a hit with everyone).  I had big plans for my turnips tonight.  I had saved last week's pretty pink turnips so that I could make a bigger batch of this recipe and it turned out to be just enough for the 5 of us (little Sol is a ways from munching on turnips just yet) with the pink turnips from this week and last and the white turnips (minus one for the chef to munch on) from this week.

 So, I cut up the bigger turnips into quarters or halves and left the babies whole (even with a little top on- in a futile effort to feel more like a foodie- a fail according to the kids).  Tossed them in a thick bottomed pot (a dutch oven would be great) along with butter, salt and a splash of maple syrup (yep, that pretty much sums up my favorite things).  

 I let it all simmer for about 8 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent the syrup from burning.  Surprisingly there was a fair bit of liquid, so I took the cover off for the last bit to let it steam off and really carmelize. 

 My only tips are to resist the urge to leave that pretty pink peel on the turnips- they seemed to get even more bitter with cooking. And the white turnips cook faster, so maybe leave them in bigger pieces.  Leaving the tops on made for pretty presentation, but they were hard to cut off for those who insisted they not be eaten (I ate my tops and they were fine, but apparently the under 5 set are not into that).

For a summer meal on a hot night, after a busy day, this was quick, easy and really tasty.  The variations with this could go far and wide too.  I'm sure braising carrots and onions with the turnip would be awesome too- and that's just the beginning.  Maybe some Bragg's soy sauce instead of the syrup for a more savoury dish?  So many possibilities!  - From Sally's Real Food Blog


Roasted Hakurei Turnips with Israeli Couscous Salad
(makes 3-4 servings)
1 bunch hakurei turnips with fresh-looking greens
1 cup Israeli couscous
1 garlic clove, minced
pinch of optional red chili flakes
1/4 cup chopped red onion
juice from half a lemon
4-5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Trim turnips from greens leaving a small stub of the stems attached. Wash both well to remove dirt. Halve each turnip, keeping the long tails intact. Finely chop the greens.

Toss the turnips with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil, pinches of salt and pepper, and the optional chili flakes. Place flat side-down on a roasting pan. Roast for 5-10 minutes, or just until the bottoms are lightly browned. Toss around in the pan with tongs, and continue roasting another 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

Meanwhile, bring a pot of 3 cups water to a bowl and add the couscous. Continue to boil for 8-10 minutes until couscous is tender. Drain.

Heat 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high flame and add the garlic. Once fragrant, toss in the leaves and a pinch of salt and pepper. Sautee until just wilted, 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool.

Combine the chopped onion with the cooled couscous and greens. Add fresh lemon juice, an extra tablespoon or so of olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve with the roasted turnips on top.