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! 


Sautéed Chard and Baby Bok Choy with Bacon

Spring greens are in abundance at the farmer's market and in our organic farm share.

And while I love the technicolor array of fresh yumminess, I've grown tired of salads!

So at about week three of greens, greens, greens, it's time to get creative

(In case you're wondering, getting creative is just code for adding bacon).

This week we received two bags of gorgeous spring greens – a Swiss chard blend and baby bok choy. Short on time but hungry for something healthy, I put together this simplest dish that came together in minutes.

We also happened to have green garlic (mild young garlic bulbs) on hand, as well as the tenderest of scallions. Please feel free to mix and match your aromatics based on what's available and in season.

I wouldn't call this a recipe, but I hope it serves as inspiration for your new take on spring greens. Rescue them from the back of the fridge, skip the salad and throw this together for dinner!

Sautéed Chard & Baby Bok Choy with Bacon

2-3 slices bacon, cut into ½-inch pieces (Lucky's is my fave)
⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)
2 tablespoons green garlic, minced
4 cups Swiss chard, tough parts of stems removed and roughly chopped
2 cups baby bok chop, roughly chopped
Dash of white wine vinegar
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons scallions, chopped

Add the bacon pieces to a cold pan and cook over medium-low heat until browned; remove to a paper towel.

Drain off excess bacon grease as needed, leaving about 1 tablespoon in the pan. Add red pepper flakes and green garlic and cook just until garlic becomes fragrant and begins to brown.

Add Swiss chard and bok choy, increase heat to medium-high and quickly sauté just until greens begin to wilt, 2-3 minutes.

Add a dash of white wine vinegar and salt to taste and top with crisp bacon and scallions. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Got radishes? Make pico!

It's organic CSA season again and it's spring, which means one thing – more radishes than a girl knows what to do with!

I've learned a crucial lesson in the past three seasons with a farm share. If you're remotely stymied by what to do with a particular produce item, ask your farmer!

Our farm is run by an amazing family and Kena, one of the owners, also happens to be an inspired cook! She gave me this fantastic idea last summer, and now, because I love you, I'm paying it forward ... when life gives radishes, make pico de gallo!

If you've never had pico made with radishes, and I suspect you haven't, let me break it down for you so you can rush immediately to the fridge, rescue your radishes from the bottom of the crisper drawer (poor, underused radishes), and get to work on the tastiest salsa of spring.

Radish Pico de Gallo

10-12 fresh radishes, diced

1 white onion, diced

2-3 large tomatoes (or 8-10 small Campari tomatoes), diced

2-3 small cucumbers, peeled, seeded (if necessary) and diced 

1 large jalapeño, minced (use or discard the seeds according to your taste; I use half the seeds)

Juice of 1 lemon

Salt to taste

Chop, add lemon juice, season, stir, try to hide it from your hungry friends and family! 

Pro tip: If you and your crew don't devour this in your first sitting, make a killer breakfast with the leftovers. Here's how: scramble up some eggs, when they're about half-way done throw in some tortilla chips and cheese and scramble until eggs are done. Season with salt and pepper and top with radish pico de gallo. You're welcome!