Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sauteed turnips and greens

I could not resist those turnips for dinner last night!  I used the turnips and the greens as side dishes for a simple baked chicken.  I chopped half an onion, chopped the turnips, and removed the stems from the greens.  I decided to cut the turnips into chunks rather than slices, I feel like you get more turnip flavor out of them that way.  I cut some of the bigger greens into smaller pieces, and did the same with some arugula leaves.  Then I sauteed some minced garlic in olive oil in a skillet (the way most of my recipes seem to start these days!) then added the chopped onion and cooked that for several minutes until the onions almost started to carmelize.  I added the chopped turnips and cooked them for a few more minutes, then added some seasonings (salt, pepper, Italian seasonings) and the greens.  I turned the heat down and put the lid on to let the greens wilt, for 5-7 minutes.  That was it!
 I chose to keep the greens separate but you could just as easily mix them all together.  I added some more salt and pepper at the end, and was thinking the greens would have tasted even better with a little lemon juice, but I didn't have any.  The turnips were oh so yummy!  

One thing to note - I did not completely peel the turnips, I only peeled off the parts that were not smooth and clean.  I did not notice any difference in the taste, probably because these were young, fresh turnips and were well cooked, but there seems to be some controversy out there about peeling turnips.  If you are trying them for the first time, and especially if they are store bought, you should probably peel them first.  I'm just not a big fan of peeling vegetables and try to avoid it whenever possible.  With many root vegetables (like potatoes) there are nutrients in the skin, plus I like them!

Another point - I never thought that I would enjoy "greens".  I have seen them in restaurants, stores, etc, and thought that just looks awful!  But I am definitely gaining an appreciation for cooked greens, they are really quite good!  With the greens I have been using, there is a lot of flavor, and if you just wilt them instead of cooking them to death, the texture is much better.  I always thought they looked soggy and bland, like eating grass, but this is nothing like that.  I encourage you to try try try!  You never know until you try :-)

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