I’d like to elevate the lowly turnip. Look at them – they’re cute things (aren’t they?), with their purple tops. There’s reason to celebrate them right now – they’re one of our local offerings in winter time.
I don’t think I need to hide it – these ones in particular are grown at one of my favorite places on earth, Grinnell Heritage Farm. Good people, good place… and good turnips too! This recipe will give you something to think about – and possibly re-think whether or not you “like” turnips. I’m guessing that most people wouldn’t say they “like turnips.”
These braised turnips are sweet and tasty. I liked them simply with a little parsley and an extra squeeze of lemon – just the top half of the recipe below. If you’d like to dress them up, add these fancy poppy seed bread crumbs to make them complex and interesting. These are very tasty bread crumbs, and pretty too. I think I’ll need to put these on lots of things…
I also like to pair turnips with potatoes (like on top of a fabulous Shepherd’s Pie), or in place of potatoes in soups. I’m sure there are more good ways to prepare turnips though – how do you like them?
A co-worker, Jen S., just had a fabulous idea – how about mashed turnips and beets? Sounds gorgeous to me.
Braised Turnips with Poppy Seed Bread Crumbs
from my favorite, Epicurious
3 T. butter
2 lbs. medium turnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch-thick wedges
1 1/2 c. water
1 T. fresh lemon juice
1/2 t. salt
2 T. olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 c. fine fresh bread crumbs from a baguette
1 T. poppy seeds
1 T. flat-leaf parsley, chopped, plus garnish if desired
Melt butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat. Add turnips, water, lemon juice, and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Increase heat to medium and stir, then briskly simmer, uncovered, until liquid has evaporated and turnips are glazed and just tender, 20 to 35 minutes (they should be cooked through but still retain their shape).
Make bread crumbs while turnips cook:
Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat until it shimmers, then saute garlic, stirring, until just pale golden, about 1 minute. Add bread crumbs and poppy seeds and cook, stirring frequently, until golden, 4 to 5 minutes.
Stir in parsley and salt to taste. Just before serving, sprinkle bread crumbs and a good squeeze of lemon juice over the turnips.
• Turnips can be braised 1 day ahead and chilled, uncovered, until cool, then covered. Reheat with a little water before serving.
•Bread-crumb mixture, without parsley, can be made 1 day ahead and kept in an airtight container at room temperature. Stir in parsley before using.