Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Food for the Soul

This week our CSA share included turnips. I'm never quite sure what to do with them and I am sad to admit that I have let a few rot away in the fridge. My dad mentioned that my great grandmother used to mash them, so I went looking for a recipe for mashed turnips and found a few, all similar and all fairly simple. Have you ever had mashed turnips? They are not sturdy like potatoes, they are more watery and taste a bit like cauliflower.

Since they seem to be a fairly neutral side dish, I decided to use them on a soul food platter. Of course, after tasting the barbecued tofu, swiss chard and turnip greens (didn't want to waste 'em!), mashed sweet potatoes, and whole wheat corn muffins, my husband said, "I've had soul food and this isn't it." Whatever. He had seconds.

Mashed Turnips
Adapted from 250 Ways to Serve Fresh Vegetables, 1950.

2 1/2 pounds turnips
1/2 to 1 cup water
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
3 Tbs butter

Pare turnips and cut into cubes. Heat water and salt to boiling, add turnips and return lid to pot to prevent water loss due to steam. Reduce heat and simmer 20 to 35 minutes until soft. Drain turnips and mash together with butter and pepper.

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