Try It. You’ll Like It.

January 8, 2008 at 9:56 am 11 comments

Purple Top turnip and Hakurei turnips

I’ve confessed to my disinterest in cooked turnips before.  Is it coincidence that I’m once again lacking inspiration as I try to write this post for a turnip recipe?  Something about this bulbous root vegetable just fails to wind my clock, toot my whistle, or even tickle my fancy. 

Still, I decided to give cooked turnips another try since I had found some gorgeous Purple Top White Globe turnips (and Honeycrisp apples too) at a farm stand the day after Christmas that I just couldn’t say “no” to on account of their perfect lavender-blushed spheres.  These Purple Tops dwarfed the baby Hakureis I still had from Weavers Way Farm’s last turnip harvest in late autumn.  I wasn’t sure that it was a wise idea to cook them together, given the young ones might cook much faster.  I’m decidedly undecided by times so I used both in the recipe.  In the end, slicing them thin negated any concern about different cooking times. 

Honeycrisp apple and Puple Top Turnip

Wondering why I undertook a new recipe for something I was fairly certain I wouldn’t like?  The recipe’s creator, Chef Anne Quatrano, is the owner of three restaurants in Atlanta that all abide by one creed: simplicity with subtle complexities. I like that.  She and her main squeeze also work her family farm to raise provisions for the restaurants.  Now this is a woman after my own heart!   I figured I could trust her.

For this particular recipe, she boasts that people who tell her wait staff that they’d like to substitute fries for this side dish because they don’t like turnips always end up eating the complimentary dish she sends out anyway.  Apparently no one can resist the charm of Caramelized Apples and Turnips.  Seeing as how I don’t like not liking any vegetable, I was ready to be converted, and this seemed to be my best shot at salvation. 

Peeled turnip and slices

I’m saved!  I like cooked turnips!  Or at least turnips that have been caramelized along with Honeycrisp apples that cooked down into a rustic applesauce in the skillet. I ate the whole bowl with a big grin on my face.  I guess Chef Anne Quatrano was right. The subtle complexities of these turnips are irresistible:  sweet, but not overly; rich, but not heavy; a little turnip “bite”, but not bitter; and soft, but not mushy. 

I think I’ll go now and write my first-ever piece of fan mail!    

Turnip and apple slices caramelizing in the skillet

Adapted from Chefs A’Field/Chef Anne Quatrano

2 T. butter
2 lbs. turnips, peeled and thinly sliced
1 large Honeycrisp (or similar) apple, peeled and thinly sliced
1 t. maple syrup
1 t. sugar
1/2 c. vegetable stock
1 t. butter
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet until very hot. Add the turnips and apples and cook until golden, tossing to brown on all sides. Add maple syrup, stir quickly and sprinkle with sugar.  Add the stock and simmer for five minutes, covered.  Stir in remaining teaspoon of butter and season with salt and pepper.  Serve immediately garnished with a fresh herb sprig.

(serves 2-3 as a side dish) 

Caramelized Turnips and Apples

Entry filed under: Purely Vegetables, Recipes. Tags: , , , , , .

Pretty in Pink Satisfying a Craving

11 Comments Add your own

  • 1. DawnsRecipes  |  January 8, 2008 at 10:04 am

    Hmmm…I’m skeptical. I too dislike turnips. They’re the only vegetable I don’t care for. I’ll have to give this a try to see if it converts me!

  • 2. Jennie  |  January 8, 2008 at 10:06 am

    Dawn – I can say, one skeptic to another, that this is worth the try! Let me know what you think of it. 🙂

  • 3. gintoino  |  January 8, 2008 at 10:55 am

    Well, I have to say that I like turnips. I don’t always know what to do with them apart from puting them in soup but I like them. I like the way they look and I also like the slightly bitter taste they have in a vegetable stew. I’ve been wanting to try them grilled (eard about it in some tv show and got curious), but seeing this recipe made me want to guive it a try (even if I don’t like apples in my food too much).

    On your gastronomic trip to Portugal, if you can find “Dom Rodrigos” or “Bolos de amendoa algarvios” (also known as “Doce Fino”) try them. They are tradicional almond pastries from my part of the country (south – Algarve). I’m mostly advising you on cakes and pastry because I assumed you are a vegetarian and portuguese traditional cuisine is not big on vegetarian dishes.
    As for your offer on those cranberries…I live to far from Lisbon to be able to collect them 😦 so I guess I will continue living without knowing the taste of cranberreies 😉

  • 4. Jennie  |  January 8, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    Hi, Gintoino!! I wish I wasn’t so eager to visit the Douro Valley and that I wasn’t so short on time with my upcoming visit…I’d love to come down to the Algarve to drop off the cranberries. Can I put them in the post for you once I get there?? 🙂 I’m serious! I’d put them in the post here but I’m afraid they wouldn’t survive the journey. But from inside Portugal they might make it…

    You’re correct about the pastries being the best recommendation since I won’t be eating most of the traditional meat cuisine. I might try some fish but am not sure I can stomach it (not fond of seafood flavors). I’m writing all that you recommend down so keep the ideas flowing! 🙂

    As for the turnips…this is a lovely dish and I’m sure you’ll like it, apples and all. I’m very curious about the idea of grilling them. I like RAW turnips so I wonder if grilling them would keep the flavor similar? Try it and tell me!! 🙂

  • 5. Ellen Moeller  |  January 9, 2008 at 1:43 pm

    Thank you thank you thank you!!!!!!!!! I have only one other recipe that my
    family will eat with turnips and this one is FANTASTIC! Delicious! Phew! I will
    link here when I post about it tonight. THANK YOU AGAIN!!!!!!!!!

    another skeptical turnip eater turned fan

  • 6. Jennie  |  January 9, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    Yippee, Ellen!! I’m so glad it was a hit! See, it really does convert the un-turnip crowd. 🙂

  • 7. A Ruta What? « Straight from the Farm  |  January 24, 2008 at 10:46 am

    […] I toyed with calling this post “Oops, I Did It Again” but thought better of it, considering what little I know of pop culture seems to indicate now is not the time to be bringing up Britney-esse.  That girl’s got issues.  But that’s beside the point.  The real point is that I’ve once again found a tasty way to serve up turnips, the one vegetable that seems to typically throw my taste buds a curveball.  […]

  • 8. Livia  |  October 27, 2008 at 8:08 pm

    So I just found this blog and have been reading through the back catalog.

    But – huh! I’ve never liked turnips in with other root vegetables because they were too sweet. It never occured to me to treat them properly as a thing supposed to be sweet.

    Thank you! Now I could stop hating turnips, too.

  • […] a world of troubled searching and browsing to find a recipe to make a tasty Turnip side dish ( after a massive Turnip […]

  • 10. Melissa  |  December 22, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    I’ve been following your blog for quite a while and enjoying your wealth of good recipes. When Foodista announced that they are going to publish the best food blogs in a full color book that will be published by Andrews McMeel Publishing Fall 2010, I naturally thought of you. This recipe would be a good submission! You can enter here:

    Editor and Community Developer — The Cooking Encyclopedia Everyone Can Edit

  • 11. anniespickns  |  January 12, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    Just wrote about my experience with turnips, which I might add, was quite a good one. Will have to try this. I love sauteed apples and think I would be interested in trying this combo. Thanks for the great post.


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