Golden Turnips

A forgotten vegetable, ridiculed by Baldrick in the British series Blackadder (remember the Turnip Surprise that he prepared for Blackadder? It contained, obviously, turnip and the surprise? There was nothing else in it except the turnip) and it still not very popular.
To be called a golden turnip and remain forgotten is of course a bit sad.

Let’s give credit to the turnip: it has been around for many years (according to some sources as early as 2000 BC), it is used in many cuisines, from America to Japan, the leaves are also edible and it was once an important vegetable in the four-year-crop-rotation system. Next time you see turnips, just buy them, look for a recipe and enjoy.

The golden turnip has indeed a beautiful yellow colour, its taste is sweet and delicate, the structure smooth. Great to turn into a mash (with butter and perhaps nutmeg). They can be eaten raw (crunchy and the taste is peppery, radish-like). You could also mix them with other vegetables such as Jerusalem artichoke and parsnip (fry in the oven). 

We combined the turnip with a very tasty quail, stuffed with prunes, pancetta and bay leaf.

Wine Pairing

The turnip was cheap, the quail expensive so we decided to spend even more money and bought a bottle of Château de Crémat from the Bellet region near Nice. The wine is made with 75% folle noir and 25% grenache. Folle noir is a grape typical for the Provence region. Once very popular, this grape is now hardly used.
The wine is very balanced with flavours like prune and blackberries, a touch of oak and an aroma that made us think of flowers and dark fruit. In general you’re looking for a full bodied red wine, one that matches the quail and the presence of the bay leaf and the herbs in the pancetta.

What You Need

  • 4 Golden Turnips
  • Black Pepper
  • Nutmeg
  • Olive Oil

What You Do

For the quail see our earlier post. For the turnips: peel these as thinly as possible. Cook for perhaps 5 minutes and let cool. Slice in eight. Heat a pan, add olive oil and colour the turnips quickly. The idea is to add some colour and taste to the turnip and keep its golden colour. Serve with some black pepper and nutmeg.

PS

Use the remainder of the quails to make a very tasty stock. Put in ice cube bags, freeze and use when making sauces.

  • Golden Turnips ©cadwu
  • Golden Turnips with Quail ©cadwu

Kohlrabi with Pickled Radish

A Vegetable to Remember

A cabbage or a turnip? Or both? Kohlrabi (or turnip-rooted cabbage, German cabbage) is a bit different from other vegetables. It’s the swollen stem of a plant. It looks like a turnip, but it actually grows above the ground, hence the leaves and the fairly thick skin. Kohlrabi is not the most popular of vegetables, probably because it requires rather long cooking and the taste is a bit bland. The good news is that when you prepare the kohlrabi in a hot oven, you will have an easy to peel and very tasty vegetable. Its flavour is sweet, it comes with a touch of spiciness and its texture is a real surprise: juicy and crunchy!
The thinly sliced and lightly coated kohlrabi in combination with pickled dried radish is a great vegetarian starter, one that you will remember.

Sake or Wine Pairing

Best choice is a mild, dry, floral sake but a glass of white wine is also a good idea. Go for a Pinot Blanc or a German Grauburgunder. In general a white wine with medium body and aromas of ripe white fruit and flowers.

What You Need

  • Kohlrabi
  • Light and Normal Soy sauce
  • Rice Vinegar
  • Mirin
  • Pickled Dried Radish

What You Do

Set your oven to 200˚ Celsius or 390˚ Fahrenheit. Transfer the kohlrabi to the oven without wrapping it in foil, so ‘as is’. Leave it for 60 minutes. Now turn your oven to 235˚ Celsius or 455˚ Fahrenheit for 15 minutes or until the kohlrabi is slightly charred (see picture). Let cool, transfer to the refrigerator and use the next day.
Start making the dressing by adding light soy sauce to a small bowl. Add a teaspoon of mirin and a teaspoon of rice vinegar. We also add a teaspoon of normal soy sauce to give the dressing a bit more oomph. Remove the skin of the kohlrabi (be generous) and thinly slice the kohlrabi, either with a mandoline slicer or with a cheese slicer. Now it’s time to improve the dressing: combine small slices of kohlrabi with the dressing, taste and keep adjusting (soy sauce, mirin, rice vinegar) until you’re happy. Coat each slice with the dressing, plate up and serve immediately with the chopped pickled dried radish.