Turnips, Three Ways

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.

Turnip Souffle

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.

Refrigerator Roast

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…

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