Kitchen Garden Guides

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

To Everything....turn, turn,turnips... (The Seekers, 1967?)


Recently someone gave me some turnips from the local community garden and, to tell the truth, I have never grown them or even cooked them much, steering as I often do, away from the English food my mother always cooked. Don't get me wrong, she is a good cook and I got my love of cooking straight from her, but there wasn't so much variety back when I was kid and those darn English settlers insisted on growing only what they knew back in the old mother country! Luckily now we have other choices of seeds to grow and produce to buy, that is grown locally....Back to the turnips.


First, I sauteed them in butter and olive oil, turning them to coat and brown. I used plenty of butter - if you are going to cook a good, English meal, you need plenty of butter, I reckon. Otherwise it would be like fish and chips without lots of salt - a bit pointless!


Soon they were browning up and the I put in a good 1/2 cup of white wine and the same of water, scraped the brown bits off the bottom and it was looking good. I put the lid on for about another 10 minutes.


When the rest of the meal was ready to serve, I threw in the chopped turnip leaves - something my mother would never do! - and boiled the excess liquid off. Actually, I also added some chopped bok choy from my garden too. Next time I would thicken that yummy liquid a bit or use more liquid, chop the turnips up more and serve it as a soup. Excellent winter lunch that would be.

Give it a bit of salt and pepper and there you go, my turnip recipe. Deeelicious!

I originally wrote this on the Hills and Plains Seedsavers blog back in May 2008. At the time, Inanna left another turnip recipe in the comments and here it is. I am going to cook this next week; I love dumplings when its raining and cold outside. I will put both of these on Gardeners' Gastronomy in a moment.... but I have a zucchini cake to finish making now and a green tomato chutney bubbling on the stove.

Harvest Stew with Fresh Herbs & Dumplings
*1 c. pear nectar
*1 c. low-sodium vegetable broth
*1 T Dijon mustard
*3 tsp chopped fresh thyme
*1 tsp salt
*Freshly ground pepper
*1 small (1 lb) butternut squash, peeled & cu into 1-inch chunks
*3 small turnips, peeled and quartered
*2 carrots, peeled and sliced
*2 zucchini, sliced
*1 medium onion, chopped
*1/2 tart apple, cored, peeled & grated
*6 garlic cloves, chopped
*1 c. all-purpose flour
*2 tsp baking powder
*1/2 c. low-fat buttermilk
*2 T unsalted butter, melted
*1 T chopped scallions
*Whisk together pear nectar, broth, mustard, 2 tsp thyme, ½ tsp salt and pepper in a large saucepan. Add the squash, turnips, carrots, zucchini, onion, apple and garlic. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered until the veggies are just tender (about 15 minutes).
*Meanwhile, combine the flour, baking powder and remaining ½ tsp salt in a large bowl. Combine the buttermilk and butter in another bowl. Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and stir just until the mixture forms a soft dough. Stir in the scallions and remaining 1 tsp of thyme.
*Drop the dough by 6 heaping tablespoons onto the simmering stew. Simmer the stew, uncovered, for 10 minutes, then cover and cook until the dumplings are firm (about 10 minutes more).


JOC said...

Hi Kate,
as an ageing hippy of old I remember the song Turn, Turn, Turn as a rendition by an American group called The Byrds. But the brain cannot recall the song that they were most well known for - win some lose some I suppose!
How's the weather treating you? I hate the wind but I am sleeping better with the cooler nights.
Catch up soon,

Kate said...

Your definition of cooler is interesting, Jan! I would call below 2C bloody freezing!
Today the wind is back and has been ferocious.... storm force is the technical term and with a 9m swell at sea I am glad I am on the land.
There seems to be so much I should be doing!