Monday, May 13, 2013

Baby Turnips with Salt and Sesame


A revelation from Deborah Madison's new cookbook, Vegetable Literacy. So simple it can hardly be called a recipe - I want to shout this from the rooftops! This is possibly the best way to eat turnips that I have ever come across. They are surprisingly addictive.

Over the past few years, I've been working at learning how to love turnips. I guess I think that all vegetables are lovable in some way, it's just a matter of finding out the way to make them shine... and turnips are one of the most underappreciated vegetables of all.

In fact, turnips were actually the inspiration for starting this blog. I had been shopping at the growers' market, and I'd spent my last $2 on a bunch of red turnips, having absolutely no idea what I would do with them. I got home and thought, what have I done? Why did I buy these? They were just so beautiful, rosy on the inside and pure white inside... I couldn't resist them.

One key to enjoying turnips is to choose the small, tender young ones (Japanese Hakurei turnips are especially nice.) They have a wonderful, mild flavor, a bit like radishes. It is amazing how different they are from the big purple-topped ones you find at most grocery stores. If you do find yourself with the big ones, they are still lovable too, but you might have to resort to cooking them with savory meat juices, or cream, or cheese.

3 or 4 Hakurei or other small turnips
Sea salt, Maldon salt, or other yummy salt
1 Tbs. black sesame seeds

Slice the turnips very thinly. Toast the sesame seeds in a dry pan on medium heat, just until they start to smell nice. Arrange the turnips on a large plate and sprinkle with the salt and sesame seeds.
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