Monday, November 8, 2010

Unusual Roots--Salad Turnips and Winter Radish Recipes

I have to give a final plug to these three unusual but delicious roots. First the sweet and mild salad turnip--one reporter finds them almost better than chocolate. These tender turnips are the perfect addition to crudite platters and winter salads (see recipe at the end of this posting)--they have all the sweetness and texture of a radish with almost none of the heat.

Next is the Watermelon Radish, their main virtue is their amazing inner coloring--I found this great recipe for watermelon radish chips on bucks county CSA Blooming Glen Farm's website. I tried it out immediately--the chips are delicious, however it made the house smell like a Chinese restaurant. I also discovered some recipes where you make baked radish chips. I look forward to seeing if this cooking method is a little less ordor intense, either way it certainly lessens the oil intake which makes these delicious snakes all the more healthful.

Finally I want to highlight the Asian cooking staple the Daikon Radish. I like to use Daikons in stir fries, soups, and stews instead of turnips--they cook a little faster and have basically the same taste. Here is a chicken soup recipe from the new New York Time's recipe blog Food52. A more traditional way to enjoy Daikon Radishes is after they have been pickled--check out Food In Jars Pickled Daikon recipe.

Enjoy your roots!

Baby White Turnip Salad With Toasted Pecans And Bacon
Time 5 minutes Serves 4
4 small white turnips with their greens attached
1/4 c. pecan halves or pieces
3 oz. bacon
1 green garlic stalk or green onion, sliced on the bias
salt and pepper, to taste
1-2 Tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar
1-2 Tbsp. olive oil
How to make it
Preheat the oven to 350.
Remove the greens from the turnips. Tear the leaves with your hands into medium to large pieces and set aside.
Slice turnips as thin as possible (use a mandoline if you have one). Put into a bowl of iced water.
Toast the pecans in the oven just until they start to brown. Remove from the oven and set aside.
In a non-stick pan, saute the bacon until crunchy on the outside. Remove from the pan and set aside, reserving the fat.
Prepare a simple vinaigrette: combine vinegar with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Slowly drizzle in about 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil. Set aside.
Heat the bacon fat in the same pan. Once hot, add the green garlic/onion and saute until tender. Add greens to the pan, season with salt and just a splash of balsamic vinegar and cook until they are wilted.
Remove the sliced turnips from the iced water bath, dry them with a kitchen towel and toss with the vinaigrette.
Arrange the turnip slices and their greens in a mound and sprinkle bacon and pecans on top.

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