Truly Sinful Turnips

Speaking of an overabundance of produce, I have lovely spring turnips for days in the fridge.

Until recently, I'd had no success with cooking turnips – I'd tried them braised and roasted in foil packets on the grill, and the results were edible but lackluster (Lackluster Turnips is your new band name).

So, when I've tried and failed, it's time to turn to the Interwebs for inspiration. And the Interwebs did not let me down.

Let me get this out of the way – these are NOT healthy turnips. These are Truly Sinful Turnips. In my defense, I served them with sole roasted in parchment with olives and tomatoes, which had about 100 calories per serving. The uber-lightness of the fish makes it TOTALLY OKAY to eat this much butter. I promise. So, the lesson is, make this with a light main dish and it all balances out.

The inspiration for this recipe came from a community farmers market group from Georgia, and with minor modifications it made fragrant, delectable and perfectly textured turnips. 

I hate to say it, but it is occasionally gratifying to take something really simple and crisp and healthy and metamorphose it into something rich and sinful and just wonderful. If you serve these to guests, make them at the very last minute so that a) your house smells incredible and b) the turnips retain some of their oven-roasted crispness under the buttery goodness. 

Roasted Turnips in Browned Butter

1 large bunch turnips (I used Harukei turnips)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
Parmigiano-Reggiano to taste

Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Rinse turnips, trim ends and cut into 1½-inch cubes (as you would potatoes for roasting).

Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil if desired. Toss cubed turnips with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast 25-30 minutes, until turnips are starting to brown and crisp. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Heat butter in a large pan over medium heat. A pan with a stainless steel or light, enameled finish is better for this recipe than a dark, nonstick finish, so you can monitor the browning of your butter.

Cook butter until it begins to brown. The butter will foam, then the milk solids will begin to change color from light tan to a warm brown. Once the butter begins to brown and smell nutty, add the roasted turnip pieces and sauté for 4-5 minutes. Keep a close eye on this dish, so that you don't burn the milk solids. The turnips will gradually absorb most of the butter to make a delectable, nutty sauce. 

Remove the turnips from the pan, check the seasoning and adjust, then grate on a light dusting of Parmigiano-Reggiano and serve immediately. Enjoy!