this ain’t yer mama’s turnip: braised turnips, onions & carrots

sexy beasts

It’s hard to make turnips sexy. They’re beige, rooty things without a whole lot of star power. When they’re on the table they’re relegated to the sidelines and rarely make the main event. Hardly anyone comes away from a meal to say, “Man, those were some totally mindblowing turnips!” But I’m hear to say just that. These turnips killed it in the lunch department. No, really.

braised turnips

A few weeks ago when our CSA had given us a few young turnips, I turned to Twitter to help me out. What could I do with turnips other than relegate them to join a salad or slaw as a bit-player? Well, thankfully someone pointed me to an Alice Waters recipe from Chez Panisse Vegetables that involved braising them with carrots in a little butter and water.

braised turnips

I liked the sound of something so simple, yet I decided to go further and add a few more items from our organic share: onion, a couple tiny baby potatoes – and half of a yellow pepper which came from my local chinatown market and needed to be used up. I also had some nice vegetable stock on hand so I used that along with a pinch of sugar to sweeten things up and added some thyme from our balcony garden. Every single ingredient contributed to the flavour of the dish and man, those turnips kicked some serious ass. Okay, the potatoes didn’t contribute very much except they were tiny and begging to be used. Next time, I’d skip the potatoes.

The turnips were sweet and buttery and went so well with the carrots and onion and peppers. We ate this for lunch as our meal….there was no salad, no meat, no bread – this dish was it. It was ready for its close-up. Turnip, take a bow. It was farm fresh perfection and I can’t wait to braise this week’s turnips into delicious submission.

braised turnips

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29 comments to “this ain’t yer mama’s turnip: braised turnips, onions & carrots”

  1. 1
    sarah   August 2, 2010 at 1:54 am

    Tasty stuff! I’m all for any recipe that makes veggies more attractive… especially ugly ones like turnip. Well done. :)

  2. 2
    Joanne   August 2, 2010 at 3:19 am

    Turnips actually impressed me recently as well! They are the underdog for sure, but with preparations like this they can definitely be all-stars.

  3. 3
    newlywed   August 2, 2010 at 5:59 am

    This looks delicious. I confess, I am already a turnip fan, but I have never braised them. Can’t wait to try it!

  4. 4
    Dana   August 2, 2010 at 10:22 am

    I always eye those adorable baby turnips at the markets and just don’t know how to prepare them. I have that book and am so glad you tested the recipe out for me! My husband says he doesn’t like them but I’m sure he would love this preparation.

  5. 5
    Maddie   August 2, 2010 at 10:25 am

    I had so much trouble when I first tried to cook turnips, so it’s nice to see a glowing review of this recipe. Next time they show up in my CSA bag, I’m all over this. :)

  6. 6
    Bijoux   August 2, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    Not much of a turnip fan but the sound of this vegetable medley is making me hungry – that, and the butter…I like anything with butter in it. So jealous of your weekly(?) CSA delivery!

  7. 7
    Sarah   August 2, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    I just got some turnips with my CSA share last week and made a potato turnip gratin: I don’t think I’d ever eaten turnips before but I loved it! For me that’s the best part about it–getting to eat new things I wouldn’t have tried before.

  8. 8
    kickpleat   August 2, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    Sarah, these are some pretty sexy looking veggies, no fear there!

    I agree, Joanne. I love turnips – they’ve got such a lovely sweetness & crunch.

    Newlywed, I hope you give it a try. These were so delicious.

    Dana, try them and I think you’ll be surprised. This is a stunningly simple preparation and all of the goodness shines!

    Hooray, I hope you give them another chance. They are yummy, Maddie!

    Bijoux, butter helps make everything better!! Yup, we pick up our lot every Tuesday.

    Sarah, looks delicious. I love that about the csa – trying new things. Hooray!

  9. 9
    Lynn   August 3, 2010 at 7:04 am

    I think turnips have gotten a very bad rap as “I’ll eat it to keep from starving” food. Nice to know they can have a turn being the sexy star of the dinner table.

  10. 10
    P-A-McGoldrick   August 3, 2010 at 8:43 am

    Turnips are a favourite of mine! Can’t wait to try the recipe but will braise them without the potatoes. Great photos and impressions of the whole process.

  11. 11
    Lauren   August 3, 2010 at 11:11 am

    Maybe turnips are sexy these days…. Michael Cera’s found lasting fame, right? Times are changing! Surely this is too autumnal for our astonishing summer though?

  12. 12
    kickpleat   August 3, 2010 at 11:16 am

    Lynn, don’t wait until you’re starving to make these! Trust me.

    Glad I could help, Patricia.

    Oooh, don’t dis on Michael Cera (I love him – but I do love turnips too. Hmmmm). Well, Lauren, since I rec’d these in my summer CSA I think they are quite seasonal. These aren’t the large rutabagas that are more common in the fall. It’s a good summer dish that uses in season veg…but it can easily be transfered to a fall dish.

  13. 13
    Sues   August 3, 2010 at 11:40 am

    I’ve never seen turnips looking so lovely :) Seriously though, I love turnips and this dish looks absolutely beautiful!

  14. 14
    redmenace   August 3, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    Well, you made turnips sexy. And delicious. Lovely dish!

  15. 15
    Ashley   August 3, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    I don’t think I’ve ever braised vegetables before. Sounds like a delicious lunch though! Usually I roast my turnips.

  16. 16
    jodye @ 'scend food   August 4, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    Braised root vegetables are always a favorite with me! These look wonderful!

  17. 17
    Nicolette   August 4, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    Thyme and roasted veggies seem to be a match made in heaven. Looks great!

  18. 18
    kickpleat   August 4, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    Thanks Sues, I think they look very lovely as well. And tasty, of course!

    Ah yeah, RedMenace!

    Ashley, braising is easy and quick! I’m sure you’ll love it.

    Thanks Jodye!

    Nicolette, the thyme works well with braising too :)

  19. 19
    Julia   August 4, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    This recipe sounds splendid! I am definitely going to try it next time we get turnips in our CSA or run into them at the farmer’s market… Thanks for the recipe!

  20. 20
    Jessie   August 5, 2010 at 2:36 am

    Hi kickpleat, i just found your blog and like it very much, not just the recipes and photos, but the whole design of it and the gorgeous drawings you have! i recently started a blog myself and am sure i’ll be able to find a lot of inspirations here. congratz! :)

  21. 21
    kickpleat   August 5, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    Thanks Julia!

    Aw shucks, thank you Jessie! I’m blushing. And good luck with your blog!

  22. 22
    michelle@TNS   August 6, 2010 at 9:35 am

    i am highly skeptical of turnips, and yet, i trust you. and of course you made the look gorgeous. perhaps one day i’ll actually be motivated to buy a turnip!

  23. 23
    Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen)   August 6, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    Oh yum! Is there anything better than roasted root vegetables? I haven’t roasted turnips before, but you have me hooked now! I hope you have a great weekend!

  24. 24
    kickpleat   August 7, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    Thank you Michelle for instilling in me such turnip trust! Now, just get motivated. Turnip forth!

    Sarena, these are braised but close enough ;) They’re yummy.

  25. 25 vie   August 9, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    This looks absolutely amazing! I love roasted root veggies. Thanks for sharing. x, Tal

  26. 26
    kickpleat   August 13, 2010 at 11:13 am

    Thanks, say la vie!

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