Yes, yes. Turnips. Even the name doesn't sound so appealing. But I like all root vegetables, so why not turnips? Usually I just toss them into the mix when I'm roasting vegetables. And having a bite of turnip amid carrots, potatoes and parsnips is fine by me. But this time, I decided to try them on their own. Besides, Ryan wasn't even sure he had eaten a turnip before so we had to change that.
Of the 138 recipe results that turned up for turnips on epicurious.com, a majority were 1) mashed or 2) au gratin. That's all fine and well but -- gasp -- I wasn't in the mood for a creamy turnip production. I wanted to taste the turnips in their own glory. And Gourmet's Turnips with Breadcrumbs from '94 fit the bill.
Par-cook the turnips and then cut into wedges. (I cut into wedges first and then par-cooked. So there, Gourmet). Toss them into a skillet with butter and brown a bit. As you can see from the picture, I didn't do that step so well. Sometimes I'm impatient and hungry, and I don't want to wait for a little browning. Then I tossed in parsley, lemon zest, salt, pepper and panko instead of breadcrumbs.
Well, I can't say I was so thrilled with the dish upon the first bite. But not so much that I didn't continue eating. But an odd thing happened -- the more I ate the turnips and got accustomed to the flavor, the more I really liked it. By the next day, I was fighting Ryan for the last of the turnips. Well, not really. He was glad to let me have them. I'll put turnips in the "acquired taste" category. But if you do like them, this is a nice refreshing recipe.
Turnips with Breadcrumbs -- Gourmet Magazine, Jan. '94
4 small turnips (about 3/4 pound), peeled
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons fresh bread crumbs
2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley leaves
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
In a large saucepan of salted boiling water, cook turnips 15 minutes and drain. When turnips are cool enough to handle, cut into 8 wedges.
In a large skillet cook turnips in butter over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until almost tender and golden on the edges, about 10 minutes. Stir in bread crumbs, parsley, zest, and salt and pepper to taste and cook, stirring occasionally, until turnips are tender, about 5 minutes.