Sunday, February 8, 2009

Really good turnips

My father claimed to like turnips. Whenever he would come visit us, he would go to the store and get a turnip, ostensibly to eat as a midnight snack. When he left, there would be this turnip in the vegetable bin for months until we would finally throw it out.

John's father refused to eat turnips. "Even when we were poor, we never ate turnips." he would say.

In an unguarded moment, we got a bag of smallish turnips in our vegetable box, and they've been in the vegetable bin for several weeks.

Last night, I came home from work late. John was in Ketchikan for their Wearable Art Show. I was alone in the house with not much in the frig, except this bag of innocent but emotionally laden turnips, and a soon-to-be-over-the hill eggplant.

Deborah Madison's book Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone is really good, so I looked up turnips. Here's what I found:
Roasted Turnips.
1) Peel and quarter them. While you are doing this, put a pot of water on to boil. Put the oven on 375.
2) Blanch them in the boiling water for 3 minutes, drain, and blot them to remove excess water.
3) Put them in a small shallow baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper, and put in a bay leaf and a bit of rosemary.
4) Bake them for a while.

While you are doing that, make sort of eggplant parmesean - peel and slice the eggplant, getting rid of the parts that are over the hill, salt and drain the good slices. Dip in beaten egg, flour, and sauteed in olive oil. Make a quick tomato sauce from onions, garlic, oregano, thyme, canned diced tomatoes augmented with a bit of tomato paste and a goodly slug of red wine, although not too much because just like the shoemaker's children, the wine pimp's house is always out of wine, and one does want some with dinner. Layer of eggplant, spoon of sauce on each, slice of fresh mozarella on each, and repeat, topping with thin slices of Fontina. Put in the oven with the turnips.

Bake until you can smell the aromas and remember that there is stuff in the oven.

Remove, toss a small green salad and slice up and apple, pour the rest of the wine in the glass, and serve up the eggplant, accompanied by the turnips.

The eggplant was good, but the turnips? Those were really good turnips. Tender, melt in mouth, sweet, flavorful, and delicious.

Thanks dad. I can eat turnips now.

PS For those of you unfamiliar with Wearable Art, it is an adventure worth flying places for. Here's a bit about Juneau's which is this weekend and we still have some tickets available. Wearable Art.

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