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Friday, March 21, 2008

Maple braised turnips with cabbage pear slaw

In my undying quest to try cooking as many different kinds vegetables as I possibly can, I took the plunge and tried to do up some turnips. I've never cooked with them before and the only thing I know about turnips is that when they are pickled, they turn hot pink and taste good on falafel.

So I guess its not surprising that even in my attempt to do something other than submerge them in brine, they still turned out hot pink and stinking of vinegar, thanks to the red cabbage slaw I topped them with.

I owe my inspiration to this Iraqi recipe posted on Desert Candy last week. Short on molasses, I substitued an entire mini-bottle of pure maple syrup, plundered from Cracker Barrel on a family vacation last year. I sliced the turnips into 1/2 inch thick rounds, and simmered them in about 1 and a half cups of juice with equal amounts of syrup, lemon juice and water. I cooked them on low-medium heat until the liquid was absorbed and they looked glazed and translucent, about 35 minutes. I kept their pretty purple skins on, which I think lent a spicy radish flavor but may have also them bitter-er. When they were done, I sprinkled them with a little crushed red pepper, but I think I overdid it just a smidge. Just use a little bit.

The red cabbage slaw was partially motivated by an inexplicable craving for vinegar I've had as of late. I can't stop daydreaming about salt and vinegar potato chips..its very weird. The slaw was easy...I made Ann shred the cabbage because my cabbage shreds were more like chunks. I cut up a pear and tossed the salad with some white wine vinegar, a little olive oil, a little sugar, and some powdered horseradish that we've had since god knows when, but I've never used.

What I wished I would have done:

  • let the turnips crisp a little bit in the pan after all the juice had been absorbed

  • used less hot pepper

  • used sesame oil instead of olive oil on the slaw

1 comment:

thepowerguides said...

It is strange to see the differing tastes around the world , turnips , parsnips and swedes or rutabaga and others of the root veg appear to be more as they are known in the US seem to be used more in the UK than in the US