CSA 2008, Week One: Part Two.

After thumbing through the pages of my cookbooks, I finally settled upon a turnip recipe from Deborah Madison‘s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. This easy recipe calls for turnips, rutabagas or a combination of the two; I used only turnips, though I actually had to buy a few more from the market in order to reach the 1 ½ pounds needed. Because my CSA turnips were new and quite young, they didn’t require peeling but I had to take my peeler to the older turnips I purchased this afternoon.

(Oh, and a side note: turnips smell surprisingly nutty. For not inconsiderable period of time, I found myself leaning over the stove, literally just inhaling and trying to figure out why these turnips smelled so frustratingly familiar. It took me a while, but I placed it: they reminded me of Choc-Nut, a Filipino candy that my mother absolutely hoards. It’s chocolatey, it’s peanutty, it’s chalky… and now, it seems, it makes me think of turnips.)

I was so pleased with how this turned out. I ended up tossing the breadcrumbs with the turnips before transferring to a bowl, as opposed to sprinkling the crumbs on top; that’s only because I love breadcrumbs (how many times did I order migas in Spain?). For me, breadcrumbs is every bite is a necessity.

Oh, and Keith and I ate this alongside some lamb chops that I had thrown in under the broiler with salt, pepper and garlic, in case you were wondering.

Buttered Turnips with Mixed Herbs, from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone (with slight adaptations)
Makes four to six portions as a side dish.

1 ½ pounds turnips, peeled
Salt and freshly milled pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons butter or sunflower oil
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
2 teaspoon chopped tarragon or thyme (I used thyme, but only because I’m partial to thyme.)
2 tablespoon snipped chives
½ cup fresh breadcrumbs browned in 1 tablespoon butter or oil

  1. Dice the turnips into half-inch cubes. Boil them separately in salted water until they’re tender-firm, about twelve minutes for the turnips. Drain.
  2. Melt the butter in a wide skillet. When foamy, garlic and cook until light brown; add the vegetables and sauté over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until golden. Toss with herbs, taste for salt and season with pepper. Remove to a serving dish and sprinkle the crisped breadcrumbs on top.