December 18, 2019
A humble root vegetable, the turnip is a brassica that grows well in Houston weather. Farmers markets from Texas to New York are filled with these little white Japanese beauties and will continue through the winter. Crisp, delicious and a touch pungent when raw, they transform into small balls of flavorful sweetness when roasted with spices and good olive oil.
2 bunches Hakurei turnips
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
1 tablespoon amchur (dried mango)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 bunches turnip greens
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 tablespoons chopped toasted pecans
Generous pinch of sesame seeds
Honey for drizzling
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Wash and trim the turnips. Combine with 2 tablespoons olive oil, sea salt, amchur, black pepper, and cardamom. Spread on a baking sheet and cover tightly with foil. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until the turnips are tender.
Meanwhile, rinse the greens, cut and discard the bottom 2 to 3 inches of the stems and roughly chop.
Heat the remaining olive oil and pop the cumin seeds. Within seconds, add the greens and a generous pinch of salt. Sauté for 1 to 2 minutes just until the greens wilt, turn the heat off and fold in the pecans and sesame seeds. Serve warm with roasted turnips drizzled with honey.
The foil wrap is an essential step, it keeps the turnips plump, moist, and flavorful. If left uncovered, the turnips will shrivel up and dry as they cook.
Increase the baking time to an hour or more for larger turnips.
Replace cardamom with another aromatic spice such as cinnamon or nutmeg.
Honey brings out the natural sweetness in the turnips, but can be omitted.
December 02, 2022