The turnip, a relative of the radish, is not the easiest vegetable to love. Its beautiful white flesh leads one to believe that it will have the creamy richness of celery root or parsnips. While it does make a surprisingly light and almost fluffy puree, its flavor can sometimes be a bit astringent, which is why turnips must be used only when they are very fresh. Enter the baby scarlet turnip, with its bright, sweet flavor and crisp greens—it will make you a turnip lover after one bite. This dish is built around the natural flavors of baby scarlet turnips, but if you can’t find them, just use standard turnips, cut into 2-inch chunks.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Serves 2 to 4
1 pound baby scarlet turnips with their greens
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat and prepare an ice bath.
2. Chop the greens off the turnips, leaving about 1 inch of the stems intact. Chop the greens into 1-inch lengths. Set aside the greens.
3. In a medium bowl, toss the turnips with 1 tablespoon of the oil, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and 1 teaspoon of the pepper. Transfer to a sheet pan and roast until fork-tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
4. Meanwhile, blanch the chopped greens in the boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain the greens, shock in the ice bath for 5 minutes, then drain thoroughly.
5. In a large sauté pan, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil just until it ripples. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until it is light brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, then deglaze the pan with ½ cup water. Add the blanched greens to the pan, return to the heat, and heat through, 2 to 3 minutes, making sure not to overcook them.
6. Transfer the greens and jus to a serving dish and arrange the roasted turnips on top. Serve immediately.
Credit line: Recipe from Vedge: 100 Plates Large and Small That Redefine Vegetable Cooking, © Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby, 2013. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment. Available wherever books are sold. theexperimentpublishing.com