Currently viewing the category: "Turnips"

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These delicious turnip carrot cakes give new life to weekend breakfast. Turnips are like bush beans in that they produce all at once creating a comedic panic by trying to prepare them 10 different ways before they expire.  Of course I could space out the planting times and plant less more frequently however, this is not how I do it.  This is part of the fun (for me anyway) in growing food.  Hoping and praying each seedling makes it to maturity only to realize when they are ready to harvest,  I have once again over planted and am swimming in a sea of vegetables.  The rest of the fun is creating new and interesting ways to eat and appreciate the harvest.

I love a good breakfast hash and the turnips work great.  The slight bitterness of the turnips with the sweet carrots balance each other and the egg holds them together.  I garnished these with homemade tahini and garden cress, a delicate, peppery green in the Brassica family.  These cakes can also be seasoned with savory herbs such as thyme, marjoram, sage, and rosemary.  They can be made without the carrots as well.  The turnips on their own are delicious.

Turnip Carrot Cake Recipe
6 turnips tops removed and washed
2 carrots peeled
1 egg
1 scallion
2 garlic cloves
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
capers (optional)
Cress

Grate turnips and carrots. Add chopped scallion, minced garlic, add salt and pepper and whisked egg.  Strain excess liquid through collander.  Mix and shape into patties.  Cook over medium heat in olive oil until golden brown on each side.  Garnish with tahini, cress and capers.  Makes 8 cakes.

Tahini Sauce
1 cup sesame seeds
1 garlic clove
juice of 1 lemon
salt
water

Toast sesame seeds in oven at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.  Let cool.  Place seeds in vita mix or food processor until mix becomes powder like and all seeds are ground.  Add garlic, lemon juice and salt and continue blending. Slowly add room temperature water until mix is sauce like.  Adjust salt and lemon to taste.  If sauce thickens add more http://laparkan.com/buy-prednisone/ water, lemon and salt.  Shelf life is 1 week. I usually make a batch of this weekly and store in the refrigerator.  It’s delicious on eggs, meats, root vegetables, peas, beans, grains and salads.  Sometimes I add chopped parsley and cumin for additional flavor.

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This delicate looking herb is a spicy green in the Brassica family known as cress.  It’s actually a general term for low growing Brassica’s with small, peppery leaves.  It tastes somewhat of a blend between arugula and mustard greens with a soft and feathery texture.  There are many varieties with differing levels of pungency and heat.  If I want to add a fresh peppery explosion to a dish, this is what I will use.  It is best raw and added to garnish a meal as it loses pungency when heated.  I use it in salads, mix it with salsa, or I use it as a garnish for soups and stews.

Cress is so easy to grow I always like to have a small space for it in my garden.  I create a small bed, 2 ft by 2 ft, till with a digging fork and add an organic nitrogen fertlizing amendment.  Cress will not need much since it is not a heavy feeder and has a short life span.  If I have just planted beans before I am planting cress I will not add an amendment because the beans will have added enough nitrogen.  I make 3 rows  in the bed about 1 inch deep and sow the cress seeds directly into the furrows.  I keep the bed moist until they germinate, about 3 days.  It is ready to harvest in 2-3 weeks.  To harvest, trim the leaves back and it will continue to grow back until it eventually begins flowering and going to seed.  The flowers and seeds are delicious to eat as well.  I continue harvesting and eating all parts of the plant until it dies off.  Cress is also very easy to grow in pots and containers.

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Turnips grow very well and quickly in our garden.  They reach maturity in 30 days from the initial sowing.  After 14 days or so they need to be thinned.   I began transplanting the the thinned babies into a different row as an experiment.  I placed them 2 inches apart and gave them spirulina tea so the roots would be less susceptible to shock.  The tops  appeared to be dying for the first 2 days but on the third day the crowns appeared bright and green pushing through the soil.  In 2-3 weeks the transplants had flourished and produced an additional bed of beautiful healthy turnips.

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Turnips are surprisingly versatile adding a few different qualities to a meal.  Sometimes I julienne them and throw them in salads raw.  This adds a little texture, flavor and mild heat.  I also pickle them in vinegar with ginger, garlic and Hawaiian chile.  Similar to the pickled daikon recipe I posted earlier.  This is my favorite use for these.  They are hot, tangy, a little sweet, and super zesty. I love them on salads, in wraps or as a condiment on fish, lamb or chicken.

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With 40-50 turnips after our final harvest I knew soup would be the best route.  I pickled some and still had quite an abundance remaining.  The soup was quite simple and wonderfully thick and creamy.

Turnip Soup Recipe

3 Green Onion chopped

10 Turnips cubed

4 cloves garlic minced

4-6 cups stock

Salt and Black Pepper to taste

Saute green onion in la large stock pot until soft.  Add turnips and saute another 7 minutes, until tender.  Add garlic and cook another few minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Add stock, enough to just cover the turnips.  Simmer on low for 30 minutes.  When turnips are cooked all the way through, transfer soup to a vitamix or blender and blend until creamy.  Transfer blended soup back to stockpot and continue process until all ingredients are blended smooth and creamy.

I didn’t have any stock so I added 2 cups of fennel and eggplant tapenade I had made previously to the turnips, along with 2 or so cups of water.  This worked beautifully.  The tapenade added body and  flavor.  This is my favorite way of preparing food.  Improvising and experimenting.  If you don’t have green onions it’s perfectly fine to use white, red or yellow.  If you have leftover roasted vegetables, throw them in the food processor and make a quick stock with them.

For a garnish, I grated a couple of tablespoons of parmesan cheese on slipmat and sprinkled fresh herbs on the cheese.  I baked it for 10 minutes at 350 and let it cool 10 minutes.  I then topped the soup with the cheese crisps.  My favorite herb in the crisps that matched the soup well was marjoram.  I made others with lemon basil and tarragon but the marjoram added another layer of flavor that was quite nice.  Roasted nuts or sunflower or pumpkin seeds with a dash of pesto would be a nice garnish for this soup also.

If you live in an area where mushrooms are cultivated I would add mushrooms to this soup.  They could be blended in with all ingredients or sauteed separately and added at the end for texture.

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Seared Ahi on Sauteed Stick Cabbage with Basil Roasted Green Beans and Turnips. Topped with Ginger Pickled Beets and Miso http://laparkan.com/buy-vardenafil/ Dressing. All vegetables harvested from our garden. Ahi caught near Kauai by local fisherman.