As soon as I receive the CSA forecast from Emily on Monday, I excitedly get to planning precisely what I want to do with my bounty of veggies. I always carefully plan my Tuesday night dinner, because it’s always a celebration of receiving this week’s veg. I then sketch out a general idea of what I’d like to do with the rest of the week (with lots of wiggle room of course, because as we all know, it’s a forecast and may change). As usual, you will find two recipes below that I made for the Tuesday night celebrations, but I’ve decided to add a little extra info and give you a sense of some of my other ideas for the rest of the week (I’ve called it More Magnificent Meal Musings – look for them in the weekly blog posts!). Share yours – I’d love to hear about your food creations!
This week, I wanted to explore the flavour of the turnips; I decided to make a pesto using the greens and do a very simple pan-roast of the roots. I had planned to serve them on the same dish, but separately – the pesto with bread, and the turnips on their own with a salad on the side. But after I got home I got to thinking – the deliciousness of turnips must surely be doubled when the greens and root are eaten together – and goodness, was I right! I ended up making a hearty salad with honey-glazed turnip, sourdough croutons, duck egg, and a refreshing salad dressing made from the turnip greens pesto (and then a pesto-slathered piece of bread on the side, because gosh that pesto is good). The nutty sweetness of the turnip is well contrasted with the tangy brightness of the pesto and I’m very pleased with the result.
So here’s the thing – I highly recommend making both components and then marrying them together in a unified dish. Next time I would make a pizza with the pesto as the base, topped with the turnips and some spinach and green onion bulbs. I gobbled up all my turnips in the salad, so I’ll just have to wait to do this another week! I’ll keep you posted on how it goes (or you can try it and let me know!).
More Magnificent Meal Musings:
- Spinach and Feta Phyllo Pie
- Iced Sage and Elderflower Tea
- Turnip Pesto Pasta
- Kale/Mustard Greens/Bok Choy Soy Sauté with Green Onion and Soba Noodles
- Fresh Spring Rolls with Green Onion, Baby Lettuce, and Spicy Peanut Sauce
- Bok Choy and Green Onion “Coleslaw” with a Sesame Ginger Dressing
- Lemon-Sage Chicken with Green Onion on a bed of Lettuce
- Kale and Olive Tagliatelle
Turnip Top Pesto
This pesto is delicately aromatic, and tastes like spring sunshine – gentle, bright, and mildly citrus-y (okay, spring sunshine may or may not be citrus-y). But what I'm trying to say is this pesto allows you to really enjoy the juicy flavours of the turnip greens and spinach, since the basil takes a bit of a backseat. It's really tasty, and can be eaten in bountiful amounts on whatever you so please.
- 1 bunch turnip greens washed and roughly chopped
- 1 small bunch fresh basil about 5 leaves
- 1 handful fresh spinach about 1 cup
- 6 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp lemon juice plus more to taste (I added another tsp)
- 2 Tbsp pumpkin seeds
- 2 Tbsp hemp hearts
- 2 Tbsp parmesan cheese
- 1 hearty pinch salt about 1/4 tsp, depending on taste
- 1 clove garlic* optional – this pesto was really lovely and mild without it, but it's not really pesto without garlic, is it?
Add ingredients to a food processor or blender, and whizz together until well incorporated.
Adjust seasoning to taste, adding salt or lemon juice as needed.
Serve on pizza, slices of fresh bread, as a dip, or thinned down as a salad dressing. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Best consumed immediately or within 2-3 days.
*I don’t eat garlic, so I didn’t put any in this recipe. I found the flavour of this pesto to be very bright and subtle, and although I think garlic would add a delicious flavour, it may end up overpowering the juicy-green flavour of the turnip greens and spinach.
Honey Glazed Turnips
The honey really brings out the sweetness and nuttiness of these spring turnips. It's a fast way of preparing the turnips, doesn't involve turning on the oven (yay!), and is a lovely way to serve turnips on salad, pizza, or pasta.
- 1 bunch sliced turnips (round slices)
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 pinch salt
- freshly ground pepper OR crushed chilli flakes
- 1/4 tsp honey
- 1 Tbsp water
Heat skillet over medium-high heat with a drizzle of oil.
Toss the sliced turnips in the oil, salt, and pepper, and place on the skillet.
Allow to cook until the underside is golden brown, about 3-5 minutes. Flip.
Mix together the water and honey and set aside.
Once the other side of the turnips is golden brown, pour in the honey-water mixture, and allow to cook for about 30-60 seconds.
Remove from heat, and serve on pizza/flatbread, pasta, or cooled on a salad (pictured above).