Oct
08
    
Posted (Lori) in News

Turnips and cauliflower remind me of Henry Fonda. Take each on its own, and there’s nothing special about it, it seems sort of bland. But they play roles in some of my favorite creations: Creamy Turnip Soup; Cauliflower Cheese Pie; The Ox-bow IncidentTwelve Angry Men. Somehow, their almost invisible flavor bumps up everything around them.

TURNIPS

You can use turnips pretty much like potatoes—boil them, steam them, roast them, mash them. One difference is that turnip greens, especially greens from young turnips (and Debbie’s note indicates that these are pretty young) are delicious, cooked like spinach and other greens. Another difference is that turnips can be eaten raw and make great crudités. Cut off the rough tops and greens, peel them and you’re set.

Debbie’s recipe for CREAMY TURNIP SOUP is in Recipes from America’s Small Farm, p. 189. It’s much better when made with vegetable or chicken stock instead of water—but the stock can be the water in which you cooked other root vegetables for Multi-root Mash.

MULTI-ROOT MASH

Mashed turnips are nice; just boil or steam them, add milk, butter, and your favorite herbs and spices and mash like potatoes. But even better: turnips mashed with other root vegetables.

2 tablespoons butter or olive oil

1 leek or onion, sliced thinly

4 cups of roughly chopped root vegetables—turnips, potatoes, beets, carrots, celeriac, parsnips; winter squash and sweet potatoes can also be added.

6 cups water

Salt and pepper to taste

Cheese or sour cream to taste

Chopped chives or other herbs

Melt the butter or oil in a large saucepot. Saute the leek/onion until very soft over medium heat. Then add the chopped vegetables and toss with the butter/oil and softened leek/onion for a minute or two. Add the water and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes until all the vegetables are very soft. Allow to cool slightly, then pour off most of the water—don’t discard, save it to use as stock, leaving about 1 cup with the vegetables. Transfer to a blender/food processor or use a stick blender to puree until smooth. Or, if you prefer, mash the whole thing with a potato masher.

Add salt and pepper to taste. If you like, add cheese or sour cream and sprinkle with chives or other herbs.

SOUP: To turn this into a soup, add milk or cream until you achieve desired consistency; serve with croutons.

OVEN-BAKED TURNIP FRIES

1 pound turnips, (about 2 medium), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch wedges

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Coarse salt and ground pepper

1/4 cup grated Parmesan (1/2 ounce)

Preheat oven to 475 degrees. On a rimmed baking sheet, combine turnips, cayenne, nutmeg, and oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss well to coat. Sprinkle with Parmesan and toss gently to combine. Arrange turnips in a single layer and roast until golden on both sides, 25 to 30 minutes, flipping halfway through.

TURNIPS WITH PANCETTA AND SESAME SEEDS

From Dan Barber (Stone Barn and Blue Hill) and Bon Apetit

2 large turnips (each about 8 ounces); or, if you are using smaller ones, cut into halves or quarters instead of eighths.

1/2 cups white sesame seeds

1 large egg

16 very thin slices pancetta (about 1/4 pound)

Vegetable oil (for deep-frying)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Peel the turnips and each cut into 8 wedges. Place the sesame seeds in a medium bowl; whisk the egg in another medium bowl to blend.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Wrap 1 pancetta slice around each turnip wedge, covering most of turnip. Dip each pancetta-wrapped turnip wedge into beaten egg to coat, then dip into sesame seeds, coating generously on all sides. Set aside on wax paper.

Heat 2 inches of vegetable oil in a heavy medium saucepan. Attach a deep-fry thermometer to the side of the pan and heat the oil to 350°F. Working in batches, add sesame-coated turnip wedges to oil, and deep-fry until sesame seeds are golden, about 1 minute (turnips will be very crunchy).

Transfer turnips to paper towels to drain, then arrange on a rimmed baking sheet and bake just until they are beginning to soften, about 7 minutes. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and divide among 4 plates.

CAULIFLOWER

I’ve seen several recipes that use cauliflower as “mock mashed potatoes”—cooking it until it loses its crunch as texture and then mashing it. I find it offensive to both the cauliflower and the potato—cauliflower has its own advantages, but it’s not a potato.

It’s not easy to face down a cauliflower. It usually doesn’t break apart as easily as a head of broccoli and needs a sharp knife to cut it into bite-sized pieces, The core and leaves have to be cut away and composted, though the stems are just as good as the flowers.

Cauliflower can be boiled or steamed to soften it—but my choice is raw, cooked lightly, or roasted.

Raw, it does well in a marinade, as below, or as a crudite with any dip or dunk. If you’re not a fan of very crunchy vegetables, cook it briefly before marinating, as in the salad below. There are also instructions for roasting below. Cauliflower is also great in a gratin, often mixed with broccoli. See general gratin instructions in Recipes from America’s Small Farms, p. 25. And there’s a more complicated Cauliflower Cheese Pie on p. 74.

Marinated Cauliflower Salad

From Martha Stewart Living

1 large head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), cut into small florets

1/4 cup white-wine vinegar

1/4 cup finely chopped red onion

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons brine-packed capers, drained and rinsed

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Blanch cauliflower until just tender, about 2 minutes; work in batches if your pot is not big enough. Drain; transfer to a bowl.

Whisk together vinegar, onion, and mustard in a small bowl. Pour in oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle vinaigrette over warm cauliflower, and add capers and parsley. Stir to combine.

Cover, and refrigerate overnight or up to 1 day. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Roasted Cauliflower with Almonds and Kalamata Olives

5-6 cups of cauliflower florets

2 tbs olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbs lemon juice; and 1 tbs zest from an organic lemon

Salt and pepper to taste

¼ cup crumbled goat or feta cheese (if desired)

¼ cup blanched or slivered almonds, toasted

¼ cup sliced kalamata (or other) olives

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.

Place the cauliflower florets in a large saute pan or a roasting pan. Drizzle the olive oil over the cauliflower, and season with the garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Place the saute/roasting pan in the oven and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure even roasting. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the cheese. Add the almonds and olives and toss until combined. Serve warm or at room temperature.

SIX WAYS TO USE ROSEMARY

1. When roasting a chicken, stuff the cavity with several twigs. Chop some leaves and insert between the skin and the flesh.

2. Sprinkle chopped rosemary over lamb before broiling it.

3. Add sprigs of rosemary to poaching and marinating solutions for all kinds of fish.

4, Add finely chopped rosemary to bread dough.

5. Sprinkle chopped rosemary on pizza and foccacia

6. Make rosemary-infused oil. Use the oil to dress salads or on pasta.

  • Bruise several sprigs of washed and dried rosemary by rolling them under the palm of your hand on a hard surface, like a cutting board.
  • Place the bruised rosemary sprigs in a sterilized glass jar that has a tight fitting lid.
  • Warm olive oil, safflower or sunflower oil in a pan until it is too warm to touch. Don’t let it smoke.
  • Pour the warm oil over the rosemary in the jar until it is completely covered. No part of the rosemary should be out of the oil. Put the lid on.
  • Store the jar in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.
  • Remove the rosemary sprigs and strain the oil if pieces remain.
  • Store the oil in a closed bottle in the refrigerator.

OVER-THE-RAINBOW CABBAGE SALAD WITH LEMON AND TAHINI

Here’s a recipe, submitted by Lee’at, that uses a lot of the vegetables we’ve received in the last few weeks—it sounds delicious.

http://ohsheglows.com/2011/12/14/over-the-rainbow-cabbage-salad-with-tahini-lemon-dressing/



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