Purée Joy (or, the unlikely nirvana of turnips)
|November 18, 2010||Posted by Laura under Healthy Eating, Recipes, Seasonal stuff, Vegetarian|
I used to hate potatoes. I would tell you all about it, too. I loved to go on and on about how they were just these bland balls of starch, and it was such a chore to eat them. Then, one day while I was scampering about as a restaurant server, I took advantage of the “feel free to sample the soup of the day” policy (which was later amended, and then eliminated, due to employee abuse), and dug into some particularly marvelous chowder. I was stopped, mid-scamper. ”Mmmm,” I said, “I love potatoes.”
As it turns out, I didn’t hate potatoes. I hated big, pointless balls of starch. When converted into creamy, hearty deliciousness, I liked them just fine. Which brings us to today’s post. When the CSA box arrived this week and contained turnips upon turnips, I thought to myself, “What on earth am I going to to with these big, pointless balls of starch?” Well, I turned them into some creamy, hearty deliciousness, and guess what? I love turnips. They’re like potatoes, only more interesting. They’re saucier. They’ve got a little bite. Trust me.
Adapted From Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything-Vegetarian
- 1 1/2 lbs. turnips (about three large)
- 2 medium or three small potatoes
- salt & pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- a dab of sour cream (I used creme fraîche, because that’s what I had and I refuse to believe that there is a significant difference)
- a tablespoon or so of minced red onion
- parsley (for garnish)
Peel and trim the turnips and potatoes. Now, I know I’m usually violently opposed to peeling veggies, but I made an exception in this case because the final product needed to turn out all elegant and stuff. Cut veggies into roughly equal-sized pieces, 1-2 inches in diameter. Place them in a pot with water to cover and add a large pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, 5-15 minutes.
Drain the vegetables well, reserving some of the cooking liquid (I forgot, and substituted stock — worked great!). Put your softened tubers in a food processor (or through a food mill, if you are snazzy enough to have one) with as much liquid as necessary. Add the olive oil and sour cream, and give it a whirl in the food processor. Taste for seasoning, and add more salt and/or pepper, if necessary. Add the onions, and pulse to incorporate. Garnish, and serve.
You can use this same alchemy to transform all of your starchy winter root vegetables: rutabagas, parsnips, go crazy!
Got leftovers? Do what I did, and make some English Cottage Pie, substituting your lovely purée for the mashed potatoes. Awesome!