Tonight it was time to tackle the turnips. I still had the white “Tokyo” turnips from Week 4 and the “Red Scarlet” turnips from Week 6.
I was especially curious about the unusual red scarlet turnips, although I’m pretty unfamiliar with turnips in general. I googled about and checked out turnip recipes, and ended up with a kind of turnip souffle, which was basically mashed turnips mixed with roux, soymilk, a little sugar, and egg yolks, with beaten egg whites folded in. I left the skins on the turnips, so my (unfortunately not very photogenic) souffle/cassrole thingie ended up with lovely little pink flecks as well as an allover rosy glow. The flavor was light, savory, eggy, and a little sweet from the turnips.
I also wanted to see what the turnips were like roasted, since roasted roots in the form of beets, parsnips, and carrots are already one of my staple foods. I ended up making a kind of “refrigerator roast,” roasting an unlikely combination of everything in my fridge that looked remotely roastable. I put together a concoction of scarlet turnips, white turnips, carrots, onion, garlic, broccoli, and a green apple I found abandoned at the back of the middle shelf, all seasoned with some of the sage left over from the Quinoa Butternut Pie. I followed Deborah Madison’s instructions for roasting turnips from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, which is usually my veggie prep bible. In this instance, though, Debbie let me down. She had me boil the turnips for 3 minutes before roasting, and they ended up more soggy than delightfully caramelized. (Probably because my turnips were much smaller and more tender than the typical huge lavender-tipped turnip of the traditional root cellar.) They were lovely to look at, though, and quite tasty to eat in any case.
The more discerning reader may notice I seem to be drawing to a close on this post, here. “What’s the third way?,” you may be asking yourself. Why, raw, of course! My CSA newsletter explained that the scarlet turnips were “Japanese salad turnips.” Unsure if this was a merely honorary title, I was curious to try them raw. I found them spicy and peppery, and a bit solid for straight raw consumption. They’d make fantastic pickles, though: I’m already plotting Turnips, Way Number Four…
Turnip Souffle/Casserole Thingie
Grease a square baking dish. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
I used about 5 medium-small white turnips and two small and one medium scarlet turnips, cut into chunks.
Place turnips with 1/2 t. salt and 1/2 t. sugar in a pot, cover with water, and cook until turnips are tender, about 10 minutes (probably longer for the giant, lavender-tip type turnip). Drain turnips well and mash them (do not add any milk or butter). Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, melt 1/2 C. Earth Balance or butter. Stir in 2 T. flour (GF flour is fine) and 1 t. salt, mix until smooth. Add 2/3 C. soy milk or milk and bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes.
Separate 2 eggs. Beat yolks in a small bowl, then stir in 1/3 cup of the hot milk mixture. Add the yolk/milk back into the pot and cook for another minute. Stir in the turnips, then remove pot from heat.
Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; fold into turnip mixture. Pour mixture into greased baking dish.
Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until golden brown.