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Turnips

Nutritional Information: This food is a good source of Vitamin C and B, potassium, calcium, and phosphorus.  Raw grated turnip serves as a digestive aid, much the same as radish. Turnips may also clear heat, dissolve phlegm, moisten and cool and strengthen the blood; they are good for general detox. Turnips are high in anticarcinogenic glucosinolates. Turnips greens are also nutritious and carry medicinal benefits.

Food Fun Facts: Turnip is a member of the brassica (cabbage) family. Three different varieties of turnip are as follows: scarlet, white winter and purple top. Purple top turnips are those you have mainly seen in the CSA in the past with white skin and flesh except for the tops.

How to Use: Turnips can be used in soups and casseroles, steamed on their own, roasted, baked and pureed. Cooking them with potatoes or sauteed onions and turmeric will soften the taste taking away the turnipy flavor. Remember raw grated turnip as a side condiment is a digestive aid. One CSA member sliced them thin and made turnip sandwiches – and her kids loved them!

Recipes:

Turnips with Onions~ Ashram Member Durga’s Recommendation taken from Harish Johari’s Ayurvedic Cookbook

1 tablespoon ghee (clarified butter) or butter or a substitute oil
4 chopped onions

1 tsp ground tumeric

2 tsp ground coriander

8 –10 small turnips, peeled and thinly slice
1 tsp salt

In a heavy pan, heat the ghee over medium heat. Add the onions, tumeric, and coriander, and cook until the ghee surfaces. Stir in the turnips and salt. Cover and simmer over low heat for 20 mins.

Quick Turnip Soup

1 large peeled and finely grated turnip
2 pints of milk
1 onion, puréed
1 tbl spoon flour
2 tbl spoons of melted butter
salt and pepper to season
parley to garnish

Heat the milk in a double boiler with the onion, add the flour and butter, which have been well blended, then the turnip, and salt. Cook until the turnip is tender, or for about 10 minutes. Sprinkle chopped parsley over the soup just before serving.

Easy Turnip French Fries (Baked)

 Chop the turnip into french-fry strips and (if you wish) lightly coat with oil. Place on a flat baking sheet and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake at 350-375 for 20 minutes. Try some different seasonings: dried parsley and basil, a little sea salt or a touch of cayenne and sea kelp.

Turnip Pickles

Cut turnips into thick slices or sticks and stuff them into jars with tight fitting lids. You can throw in a beet slice too, which will make the pickles pink. We also sometimes put in whole garlic cloves, but they're really not needed. In a non-reactive pot (glass, enamel or stainless steel) boil the following until the salt and sugar are dissolved:

1 1/4 cups water
2/3 cups vinegar
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar

Cool, then pour over the turnips in the jar. Cover the jar tightly. Store them in the refrigerator. They are ready to eat in a week. When the next round of turnips come in the following Wednesday, we just slice them up and add them to the same jar, and it just keeps us going with a steady supply of these goodies.

Indonesian Kale~ Recommended by CSA Member Susan Gubisch

In large saucepan, saute 1/2 cup chopped onions and
1.5 cups chopped fresh tomatoes in
1/4 cup olive oil for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, steam 2 cups diced turnips or potatoes or combination for 10-15 minutes.

Add turnips to tomatoes along with:

2 cups chopped kale*
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tbl curry powder mixed with 1 tbl water
1/8 tsp ground allspice
1/8 tsp ground ginger (or 1 tsp grated fresh ginger)
1/8 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp salt

Cook 5-10 more minutes until kale is tender. Serve over rice.

Grandma Dean's Turnip Pie
2 cups mashed, boiled turnips
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 cups milk
3 beaten eggs
1 tablespoon melted butter
2 tablespoons molasses
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine all the ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour into a pastry shell and bake for 30 to 45 minutes.
That was the extent of the instructions. I used a food mill to process the cooked turnips, and replaced one cup of milk with heavy cream. My favorite crust is this vodka pie dough. America's Test Kitchen found that baking custard pies at the traditional 425 degrees causes them to curdle. They suggest baking at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, and then lowering the temperature to 300 degrees until the edges are set, 35 minutes longer, which is what I did.  The result is, well, something like a pumpkin pie, except the first bite tastes just like turnips. It should be cooled completely before serving, and the flavor improved in the refrigerator overnight. If I'm ever lucky enough to receive a pound of turnips as a gift, I'll make this pie again.

http://food.hamtramckstar.com/dean-turnip-pie

Chinese New Year Turnip Cake
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
8 ounces Chinese dried mushrooms, soaked overnight in water
1/3 cup dried shrimp, soaked in water overnight and drained
1 pound tofu, sliced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 slices fresh ginger root
3 turnips, shredded
1 1/2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
1 tablespoon ground white pepper
2/3 pound white rice flour

Directions
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add mushrooms, shrimp and tofu and saute for 1/2 minute. Remove from skillet and set aside. Heat 1 more tablespoon oil in wok/skillet. Add ginger and saute a bit. Add shredded turnips and stir fry for about 3 minutes (do NOT remove turnip water). Add 5-spice powder, salt, chicken bouillon and white pepper and toss all together until evenly distributed. Extract ginger slices from mixture.
Turn off heat. Top turnip mixture with rice flour and use chopsticks to toss and mix flour in evenly. Add reserved tofu mixture and toss to mix in. Remove mixture from wok/skillet and place into a 9x2 inch deep round cake pan.
Clean wok/skillet, fill with water and bring to a boil. Place cake pan on a round wire rack over boiling water. Reduce heat to low and let simmer, steaming cake 'batter', for 45 minutes. (Note: you can also use a large bamboo steamer if you have one). When 'cake' is steamed through, slice into pieces and serve hot OR cool on wire rack before covering tightly with plastic wrap and placing in refrigerator to chill.
Enjoy!

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