Turnip recipes and seed catalogues

For those of you who are trying to eat more seasonal meals this winter, I thought I would share a few recipes.  I have been trying to find more ways to use turnip – it is a great winter vegetable but one that can be harder to get people to like.  I find it always tastes nice cooked with equal parts carrots and then mashed, with butter and salt and pepper.  But recently I have found a few interesting recipes that both children and adults have seemed to like.

Oriental Turnip Fries

  • 4 cups turnip, peeled and cut into 1/4″ by 2″ matchsticks
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2-3 tsp tamari or soy sauce

In a large cast iron pan warm the sesame oil over medium heat.  Add the turnip and saute for 3-5 minutes.   Add about 1/3 cup of water and place a lid on the pan.  Steam the turnip fries until tender, about 5 minutes.  Remove the lid and let the water evaporate.  Add the tamari or soy sauce and saute another few minutes.  Serves 4-6.

Mashed Turnip and Potato

  • 4 cups turnip, peeled and cut into 1/4″ chunks
  • 2 cups potato, peeled and cut into 3/4″ chunks
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (this is why kids like this recipe!)
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • Salt and Pepper

Place the turnip in a large pot and cover with water.  Bring to a boil and simmer for five minutes.  Add the potato and more water if necessary and boil until both the potato and turnip are tender, about 15 minutes.  (The turnip takes longer to cook than the potato so that is why I cut it into smaller chunks and also why I cook it slightly longer).   When tender, drain the water and add the butter and cream.  Using a hand blender or potato masher, puree until smooth.  Add the nutmeg and season with salt and pepper.  Serves 4.

I was also given some golden beets and decided to make a grated beet and carrot salad.  I wanted a different dressing than my usual oil and vinegar and so came up with this one:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp tamari sauce
  • 1-2 tbsp honey
  • 1 large clove garlic, grated
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

The ginger and rice vinegar flavours seemed to work well with the salad.

And finally on the subject of seed catalogues…

Canadian Organic Growers is a great place to get inspiration for gardening.  Membership is $40 per year (www.cog.ca) and includes a quarterly magazine as well as a monthly enewsletter.  It is a great way to stay current on what is happening in agriculture, and has many great articles for both commercial and home gardeners.  It also has an  extensive lending library which is free to members.  The Winter 2010 magazine has articles on growing garlic from bulbils and on saving seed.  There is also a comprehensive directory of seed sources for organic growers  – seven pages of small and large seed companies.  One that was recently recommended to me and which I think is worth checking out is the Cottage Gardener, one of the few smaller organic seed companies that offers seed in both packet sizes and larger quanties.  (www.thecottagegardener.com).

Best wishes for a happy rest of the winter.

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