Tatties and Neeps, Anyone?

January 25, 2009 at 11:51 am 12 comments


Have you ever noticed how trying a recipe for the first time is strikingly similar to going on a blind date?  You might be a little nervous beforehand, worried about prepping just right so everything goes smoothly.  Let’s not lie to ourselves: looks are important too so hopefully this new interest will be easy on the eyes.  Then there’s always the big question mark about will you like it even enough to tolerate one meal together or will you just have to get up after a few bites and find something else.  Maybe this one will be too exotic for your long-term tastes but it could be fun to live in the moment…a fling of sorts.  But, as we all no doubt secretly hope, there’s always the chance this one will be the one and stick with you through thick and thin for the rest of your life, come lumpy gravy or runny fudge.

Red baby potatoes

I admit I’m being a bit snarky in writing the above, but there’s also a note of seriousness in it since I do often take up a new recipe with the same nervous energy as I would for a date.  When I saw this particular recipe in Eat Feed Autumn Winter, I was a little concerned because it would use up the last of my turnips for the season – a gorgeous bunch of baby white Hakureis that are so tender and sweet I even ate a few out of hand (which is saying a lot if you remember my semi-aversion to turnips). 

Potatoes and Turnips with Bacon and Cream

I was also a bit bashful about trying a recipe called “tatties and neeps”.  Funny how a name can put you off a little sometimes, and this Scottish designation for what we’ll just call Potatoes and Turnips with Bacon and Cream was not so appealing (though perhaps more colorful) to me for some unexplained reason.  When I read the list of ingredients though, I knew I needed to overcome my unfounded prejudice because starchy potatoes, silky cream and salty bacon (soy in my case) could not, no matter what their title, be a bad combo.  The fact that the turnips were in there just added to the interest and made me feel less guilty somehow about consuming the other three in large quantity. 

Creamy and delicious

Guess what?  This recipe is a keeper!  We’ll be seeing a lot of each other in the spring when turnips come back into season.  If I had the supply in the root cellar right now, we probably would have been meeting over the dinner table at least five more times this past week.  Ah, be still my bonny heart!  

Potatoes and Turnips with Bacon and Cream
Taken from Eat Feed Autumn Winter

1 lb. red potatoes (about 5-6 small ones)
½ lb. turnips (2 large or several small ones)
5-6 pieces of bacon (soy works fine)
½ C. vegetable broth
¼ C. heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Scrub the potatoes and the turnips, trimming out ends and any bad spots.  Cut everything into a ¼ inch dice.  Set aside.

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat (if using soy bacon, generously spray the skillet with non-stick spray).  Cut bacon into ¼ inch pieces and cook in the skillet until nearly crisp, about 3 minutes.  Drain off any fat.  Add the potatoes and turnips and sauté for another 3 minutes, stirring regularly. 

Add the broth, bring to a boil, cover and cooking for 5-8 minutes over low heat or until the vegetables are tender.  Remove the lid.  Add the cream and cook over medium-high heat for 5-8, stirring regularly, until the liquid is almost evaporated and vegetables are very tender.  Season generously with salt and pepper. 

(serves 2-4)


Entry filed under: Recipes, Veggies w/ Protein. Tags: , , , .

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12 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Mangochild  |  January 25, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    As one who also has an aversion to turnips and has been searching for ways to make them palatable, this recipe is on the to-try list – there has to be a way to make this work, as turnips are one of the few things I can get locally now!
    Can you think of something to sub for the bacon/soy bacon? What is its role in the dish?

  • 2. Jennie  |  January 25, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    Mangochild – This will definitely go down easy if you don’t have the “acquired” taste of turnips yet. 🙂 The bacon’s role in the dish is to play salty counterpoint ot the rich creaminess of the rest of the dish. If you don’t want to use the bacon but are okay with meat, I would suggest prosciutto. If you want to skip the “meat” altogether, I’d try some coarse sea salt, adding by the 1/4 teaspoon until you like the way it tastes. Let me know how it works out for you!

  • 3. Mags  |  January 25, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    I’m just laughing (and nodding) at your blind date comparison. Excellent description… and yes, I think most of us have had those same feelings when cooking something new.

  • 4. A. Woz  |  January 26, 2009 at 10:56 am

    ah Prosciutto– that would work for me. good substitute. I have only one good turnip recipe and that is part of a potato soup…so this is a nice change with similar ingredients…and again, the pic of the red potato on the white distressed wood, pefect contrast. What camera do you use?

    • 5. Jennie  |  January 26, 2009 at 4:42 pm

      A. Woz – Thanks for the kind words. I use a Canon Rebel XTi (standard camera among food bloggers I think) with a Sigma 50mm macro lens….and a heafty dose of natural sunlight streaming in my window. 🙂

  • 6. Jesse  |  January 26, 2009 at 7:36 pm

    This recipe definitely sounds like a keeper! I had some of those harukei turnips last year and have thought of them ever since. So sweet and delicious! Did you grow yours? If so, where did you get the seeds? I looked all over for them this fall and couldn’t find them.

  • 8. Kevin  |  January 26, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    This sounds good. Bacon makes everything better. 🙂

  • 9. Jesse  |  January 26, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    Thank you so much for the link!

  • 10. Top 10 for 2009 « Straight from the Farm  |  December 31, 2009 at 12:00 am

    […]  #9. Tatties and Neeps (Potatoes and Turnips with Bacon and Cream) […]

  • 11. Hannah  |  January 2, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    Made this recipe last night for my avowed turnip-hater of a husband, because our CSA box this week had a bloody great huge turnip in it.

    He was very skeptical but agreed to try it.

    Two helpings later (!!) and an agreement to eat the leftovers tonight, and this is solidly in the “win” column. Plus I’m now going to get the source cookbook.

    Thanks and well done!

  • 12. manic  |  June 7, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    wała sam potoczny absurdalny
    ślad manic pyska. Sir Roger klepnął w wełnisty kufer.
    – Jakże chyża – chlapnął z ukojeniem. Nie była owe do samego końca
    prawda. Natomiast potwór, z natury dalekowzroczny nie będ.


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