Among other things, I have been spending my fall mornings gathering apples from local trees, hunting down chestnuts and re-learning how to cook with the fall and winter bounty of foods that are some what less common than everyone’s favorite summer foods.
One of my unexpected fall favorites is turning out to be TURNIPS!
I think of turnips as winter radishes, big giant radishes. They have a the same spicy taste as little radishes, yet they can be cooked as well as eaten raw.
The new accompaniment to all of my winter meals is becoming a raw turnip salad. I make it like this:
I take 1 or 2 large turnips (1 makes enough for 2 generous servings) and grate them with a large hole cheese grater, I trim the ends but grate everything, skin and all, just like you would cheese. Then in a small skillet I toast 2 tablespoons black mustard seeds and cumin seed until they start popping. I take these out and set them aside and then toast 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds until golden brown. I combine all of the ingredients with the turnips and then toss in a small hand full of raisins and then squeeze lemon juice, I love Meyer lemons which are of course IN SEASON!
This makes for a divine, raw, nutrient packed salad that is really a wonderful addition to any hearty winter meal.
Another way I have been cooking turnips is roasting them. I wash and trim them and then chop them in large quarters. I toss them in a baking dish with a hearty drizzle of live oil, a pinch of salt and pepper and some rosemary and oregano. I roast them in a pre-heated oven (400) for about 35 minutes.
They are great eaten like this or you can make a sauce or gravy to go over them. Joe makes a really great Meyer lemon-miso gravy!
I added some carrots to the mix here. You can add anything you have around to enhance the flavor.
Since turnips are so bountiful this time of year, they are also the least expensive. For the budget conscious folks, and that is probably everyone in these times….eating seasonally is a great way to cut back on grocery costs. It also gives you the opportunity to learn more about foods you don’t know much about.
Turnips are high in Vitamin C. Turnip greens are a good source of Vitamin A, foliate, Vitamin C, Vitamin K and calcium.