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.

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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)

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

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 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.

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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