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.
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.
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, onions & carrots
1 T butter (use non-dairy margarine for a vegan version)
2 small turnips, sliced
1/2 sweet onion, cut into thin slices
1 large carrot, sliced on the diagonal
1/2 yellow pepper, sliced
1/2 c vegetable broth
1/2 t sugar
4 sprigs of thyme
salt & pepper
In a large pan, melt butter over medium-high heat and add turnips, onions, and carrots and yellow pepper. Gently toss vegetables around the pan until glistening and warm. Pour in vegetable broth and add in sugar. Put a lid on the pan and let everything come to a boil. Add in thyme. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until the turnip and carrots can easily be pierced with a fork. Season with lots of black pepper and add salt if needed.