Thursday, June 11, 2009

Turnips: Better than Hitler's Head in a Bag

The turnips at the bottom of this week's CSA grab bag were met by boos and hisses by my jackass husband and visiting brother. You would have thought Hitler's head was in that bag instead of some ideology-less root vegetables. So adamant were they that they were not going to eat those turnips, that it became my new goal that they would. And that they would not only like them but also shower me with gifts and golden egg laying hens in a pathetic attempt to make up for their foolish pigheadedness. Although I have yet to receive my hen, the turnips were inhaled with smiles on their faces and hearts full of vitamin B6, potassium and copper.

Here's what you're gonna need

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 shallots (the whole shallot, not 2 bulbs), peeled and thinly sliced

1 1/2 lbs turnips (+ 1 Idaho or Russet potato, optional*)

Kosher salt

1/2 cup 2% milk
3 tablespoons salted butter

salt and pepper

*The turnips are great on their own, but adding a potato thickens up the dish a little.

And here's what you're gonna do

Heat the oil and butter in a pan over medium-low heat until the butter melts. Reduce heat to low, add the shallots and saute over low heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown (about 25-30mins ). Remove the shallots from the pan with a slotted spoon, let any excess oil drain off, and spread out on paper towels to dry and crisp up.

Peel the turnips (and potato, if desired) and cut into chunks. Place the turnips (and potato) in a saucepan, cover with water, and add 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, about 35 minutes or until easily pierced by a knife, for, or your favorite kitchen poking device.

While the turnips are simmering, heat the milk and salted butter in a small sauce pan over low heat until the butter has melted.

When the turnips are piercable, drain them in a colander. Puree the turnips in three batches in a food processor. Be sure to scrape the sides between batches to make sure the turnips are smooth. With the motor running, add the melted butter and milk in a steady stream.

Put the turnips back in the saucepan, season with salt and the pepper, and reheat over medium heat, stirring occasionally. You can also put the turnips in a microwave safe bowl instead of the saucepan to rewarm. Top with crispy shallots and serve up a tasty dish of something most people at your table never thought they'd like, yet here they are taking seconds. Suckers.

post script: This recipe would be a good and healthier substitute for mashed potatoes. My meat and potatoes husband agrees.

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