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Turnips: farm to table

I love fresh root vegetables. Grown fresh, they taste unbelievably different than those you buy in a market because they are cooked right away more often than not. They are a joy to grow as well. Because of the long time frame it takes until maturity, I tend to sow seeds in the raised beds of my greenhouse where it’s harder to reach or in more shade, where other crops do not thrive. Then just leave them in the ground to overwinter and let them grow until you feel like having them for lunch or dinner.

You can see momma turnip and the twins, freshly picked and washed. I might have eaten turnips before growing them, but I don’t remember when. Here is a recipe I wanted to try and really liked. It makes use of the turnip greens as well. The turnip take on the texture of a potato with a surprisingly savory taste. Feast on…..

Creamed Turnips & Greens
• 1 clove garlic, grated
• 1 pound turnips, peeled and cut into ½-inch wedges, greens reserved
• ½ cup water, plus more as needed
• 1 tablespoon lemon zest, reserved
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice
• ½ teaspoon salt, divided
• 4 cups chopped turnip greens or mature spinach
• 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 1½ cups whole milk
• ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
• ⅛ teaspoon ground white pepper
Heat oil and garlic in a large skillet over medium heat until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add turnips, water, lemon juice and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until barely tender, about 10 minutes.
Add greens and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated and the turnips are very tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Add more water, ¼ cup at a time, if the greens begin to stick before the turnips are tender.
Sprinkle the vegetables with flour, increase heat to medium and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.
Add milk, nutmeg, white pepper and the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring, until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve topped with the reserved lemon zest.
From: Eating Well Magazine, November/December 2017

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