I grew up with an aversion to turnips. I remember them as being giant and bitter and mealy and rather tasteless, and hence was never a fan. Since being involved with CSAs, I have changed my perspective on many veggies, and turnips are right up at the top of that list. It was really my oldest son, Ben, that helped me to see the light of this wonderful veggie. As soon as Ben sprouted teeth, he was picking Hakurei turnips from our CSA shareboxes and munching on them raw like an apple. The first time I saw him do it, I remember thinking “Really? What do you have there, son?” I took my first bite and realized he was onto something. These locally grown turnips were not the abominations I recalled from my childhood, but rather reminiscent of everything I loved about carrots- sweet, crunchy, light, and fresh. I put aside a couple for Ben and would save the rest to shred or slice into salads.
The variety we got in our most recent sharebox are the “Baby Purple Top White Globes”. Though larger than their Hakurei cousin, they remain sweet, free from bitterness, and could not be farther from the mealy monsters I grew up with.
On Saturday night, I chopped one up into french fry sticks and tossed them with olive oil before separating into three separate piles on a sprayed cookie sheet. I seasoned one with maple sugar sprinkles, one with garam masala, an one with a home made Mexican seasoning. I cooked them at 400 until they were tender, about 20 minutes. The first two of these flavor combinations were the favorites, but I feel like this one is still on the drawing board at the moment.
After eating these turnips, both raw and in oven fried form, I had an idea about making a souffle involving the turnips, and got to work creating. My mother devoured all 3 of my test recipes and I was psyched! A quick Google search made me realize that a lot of variations of Turnip Soufflé already exist (to include bacon, onion, etc). However, I just went with my idea and am sticking to it. The flavor of these sweet turnips is really featured in this dish (in a very good way), and short of a tiny dash of nutmeg, I wouldn’t want to mess with the flavor too much more.
- 3 Springdell turnips, peeled and shredded
- Amish Roll butter, about 6 tbsp worth (3/4 disc)
- 3 eggs
- 3 tbsp flour
- 3/4 cup milk
- salt and pepper
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese or nutmeg (optional)
- Sprinkle your shredded turnip with about 1/2 tsp of salt. Let it sit for a bit, maybe 20 minutes, then squeeze out as much of the water as you can (using your hands or other squeezing/wringing method)
- Heat your sauté pan on medium heat until warm, then add about 1/4 of a disc of butter (about 2 tbsp) to the pan.
- Add the squeezed turnip shreds to the pan and sauté for about 8 minutes, until most of the moisture is dissolved.
- While the turnip is sautéing, melt another 1/4 disc of butter (about 2 tbsp) in a separate sauce pan. Stir in the flour, stirring frequently on low heat (being careful not to burn it). Once combined, whisk in the milk, turn up the heat slightly and continue to whisk until the mixture comes to a boil. When the flour mixture thickens, remove it from the heat and set aside while you mind your turnips.
- Preheat your oven to 350
- Once the flour mixture has cooled slightly (about when the turnips are done), add the egg yolks to the sauce and stir until well-combined. Add the turnip mixture to the flour mixture stir to combine.
- In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until peaks are starting to form. Slowly and gently fold the egg whites in with the turnip-sauce mixture.
- Spoon the mixture into generously sprayed/buttered ramekins. Do not fill more than 2/3 full or they may bubble over.
- Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. At the 20 minute mark, you can choose to gently sprinkle your soufflé with some parmesan cheese or nutmeg (the boys liked the nutmeg better). Bake another 5 minutes and serve!
- This would totally work with bacon bits or onion, but be careful not to mask the flavor of an already delicious veggie.
- This would go great with an herb sauce, and/or with a helping of roasted asparagus! As always, make it your own!