Friday, 30 May 2008


Recently Deb gave me some turnips she had grown and, to tell the truth, I have never grown them or even cooked them before, steering as I often do, away from the English food my mother always cooked. Don't get me wrong, she is a good cook and I got my love of cooking straight from her, but there wasn't so much variety back when I was kid and those darn English settlers insisted on growing only what they knew back in the old mother country! Sorry Ian and others! Luckily now we have other choices of seeds to grow and produce to buy, that is grown locally....Back to the turnips.




First, I sauteed them in butter and olive oil, turning them to coat and brown. I used plenty of butter - if you are going to cook a good, English meal, you need plenty of butter, I reckon. Otherwise it would be like fish and chips without lots of salt - a bit pointless!




Soon they were browning up and the I put in a good 1/2 cup of white wine and the same of water, scraped the brown bits off the bottom and it was looking good. I put the lid on for about another 10 minutes.




When the rest of the meal was ready to serve, I threw in the chopped turnip leaves - something my mother would never do! - and boiled the excess liquid off. Actually, I also added some chopped bok choy from my garden too. Next time I would thicken that yummy liquid a bit or use more liquid, chop the turnips up more and serve it as a soup. Excellent winter lunch that would be.

Give it a bit of salt and pepper and there you go, my first turnips. Deeelicious! Thanks Deb. I will grow some for myself, I think, along with Deb's parsnips and carrots which are all now coming up and growing fast in my garden.


Jumbleberry Jam said...

I'd grow turnips (if I had room) just to make this recipe:

Harvest Stew with Fresh Herbs & Dumplings

*1 c. pear nectar
*1 c. low-sodium vegetable broth
*1 T Dijon mustard
*3 tsp chopped fresh thyme
*1 tsp salt
*Freshly ground pepper
*1 small (1 lb) butternut squash, peeled & cu into 1-inch chunks
*3 small turnips, peeled and quartered
*2 carrots, peeled and sliced
*2 zucchini, sliced
*1 medium onion, chopped
*1/2 tart apple, cored, peeled & grated
*6 garlic cloves, chopped

*1 c. all-purpose flour
*2 tsp baking powder
*1/2 c. low-fat buttermilk
*2 T unsalted butter, melted
*1 T chopped scallions

*Whisk together pear nectar, broth, mustard, 2 tsp thyme, ½ tsp salt and pepper in a large saucepan. Add the squash, turnips, carrots, zucchini, onion, apple and garlic. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered until the veggies are just tender (about 15 minutes).
*Meanwhile, combine the flour, baking powder and remaining ½ tsp salt in a large bowl. Combine the buttermilk and butter in another bowl. Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and stir just until the mixture forms a soft dough. Stir in the scallions and remaining 1 tsp of thyme.
*Drop the dough by 6 heaping tablespoons onto the simmering stew. Simmer the stew, uncovered, for 10 minutes, then cover and cook until the dumplings are firm (about 10 minutes more).

Yield: 6 servings; 225 calories, 6g protein, 42g carbohydrates, 5g fat

chaiselongue said...

Sounds delicious, Kate, and so does inanna's stew, especially with the dumplings. I didn't used to like turnips either, for similar reasons to yours (my mother didn't cook them, she was an excellent vegetarian Mediterranean cook, but my Welsh aunts did) and Welsh food used to be even more limited than English! We grew them for the first time here last year, cooked them sliced quite finely in salted water, then as a starter put a small pile of the slices on a warmed plate, a spoonful of crème fraiche on top, some grated parmesan, some finely chopped garlic, salt and pepper - they were wonderful!

Ian said...

Nice piece Kate, you got me quite hungry this time!!
If turnips make you think of what your mother cooked, just call them navets and think, instead of all those wonderful French dishes using them.


Kate said...

OK Ian, bring on the recipes for me.

Wow Inanna, thanks for typing that whole recipe in! I will put it in 'Gardeners'Gastronomy'. It looks yum.

C-l I think that sounds pretty good too. I would not have thought they would go with parmesan cheese!I am looking at the turnip in a different light now - well actually it is still dark! Why do I get up so early?? Because it is my favourite time of day (or night!)

Maggie said...

inanna"s recipe sounds good, we must expand on this topic of turnips and swedes, french navets, french long vertus plus talk about swedes.
They are misunderstood vegetables
but used young can be delicious.
Maybe we could all just post our favourite ways of preparing them.
I love them added to vegetable soups and small baby white turnips are delicious raw or thinly sliced with an asian dressing. Yummy

Kate said...

Raw, Maggie? I will try that next time. Hell, where have I been all these years??

I will put all these ideas on the recipes page - remind me will you Maggie, please? Now I must go and cook some stuff for tomorrow - sadly, not navets!

Maggie said...

Wait till you are nearly 60 Kate, then and only then will you know everything!!!
What are you cooking?