Championing the Lowly TURNIP!!

Friday, November 16, 2012
People who have low-carbed for any length of time have figured a dozen or more ways to make FAUX-tatoes. You know what that is -- a potato-like dish that isn't made with potatoes at all (nor all those carbs I might add). I am no different. Many FAUX dishes are made with cauliflower. It does a great job. But please don't forget the lowly turnip -- just like potatoes, turnips are roots and unlike cauliflower, they have a very similar texture. Just not as starchy. I thought I would share a few dishes featuring turnips -- well a few turned into 6 of my FAVORITES -- if you are not eating turnips, you really, really should be :)

Also called Potage a la Freneuse which sounds so much yummier than turnip soup, Roasted Cream of Turnip Soup has become a favorite. Creamy and hearty and so very similar to potato soup which was always one of my Mom's comfort dishes.

Roasted Cream Of Turnip Soup

5 medium-sized turnips, peeled and diced
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 large onion, diced
5 cups chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
freshly ground pepper & salt to taste

To roast the turnips, peel and dice. Place on a baking sheet, along with olive oil and a pinch of salt. Roast in a preheated 375ºF oven for about 30 minutes or until they have taken on a lot of brown color and are tender. In a large sauce pan over medium heat, add butter and chopped onion. Cook the onion until starting to turn translucent. Then add the chicken stock and roasted turnips. Bring to a boil and simmer until the veggies are soft. Remove from heat. With an immersion or stick blender, blend the soup until it’s smooth. Add the cream and bring back to the heat. Just cook until the soup is warm through. Add salt if it needs it. Serve immediately along with some freshly cracked pepper. EXTRA yummy when topped with crumbled bacon, shredded swiss cheese and/or chopped scallions. Serves 6.

Each serving: calories 255, carbs 9.81g, fiber 2.2g = 7.61g net carbs.

Next up, Loaded Hash Browns. The *Loaded* means lots of extra goodies - bacon & melty cheese are my favorites but you certainly can skip those and have perfectly wonderful hash browns. These are perfect pared with eggs and all that breakfast stuff too but I usually put them on the side of a nice steak or pork chop.

Loaded Turnip Hash Browns

1 lb turnips, peeled and grated
1/4 small onion, grated into turnips
2 slices bacon fried crisp, reserving drippings
4 Tbsp butter
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 c grated sharp cheddar cheese

Using a food processor or box grater, grate your peeled turnips and onion. Season with salt, pepper (garlic powder is good too). In a skillet cook your bacon slices and remove. In the same skillet, with your drippings over medium heat, add your grated turnip mixture in a single layer on the bottom if the skillet. Dot with 1/2 of your butter. Cook, checking bottom for brownness. Once good and browned, turn over - you only want to turn these once so they don't get mushy on you. Once all turned, dot with the second 2 Tbsp of butter. Once browned well on second side, remove to serving plates. Sprinkle each serving with 1/2 of grated cheese and 1 crumbled bacon strip. Serves 2. 

Each serving: 446 calories, 8.9g carbs, 3.0g fiber = 5.9g net carbs

This recipe for Hasselback Turnips is the direct result of a Pin I saw on Pinterest for Hasselback Potatoes -- I can't imagine that potatoes would taste any better than these turnips do.

Hasselback Turnips

2 Medium-Large Turnips
1 shallot, sliced
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp melted butter
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 375°F. Cut root part of turnip off so it stands up and remove skin. Cut  thin slits in the top but only go thru about 80-85% of the way. Stuff slits with shallot slices. Place each prepared turnip on a square of foil; pour olive oil evenly over each, sprinkle garlic powder and salt evenly over both. Wrap and bake for 30 minutes or until inside is soft. Remove foil, drizzle with melted butter and bake uncovered an additional 15-20 minutes. Switch on broiler and broil for  5-10 minutes or until outside is golden. Serves 2. Serve with sour cream if desired.

Each serving: 266 calories, 10.36g carbs, 2.2g fiber = net carbs 8.16g

When I first saw this next recipe I knew it was going to be something I love - the original calls for maple syrup - with balsamic already having a fair number of carbs, I use just a small amount of maple flavoring to invoke the same flavor -- what is better than caramelized onions and balsamic? - YUM!!
Photo Credit: Napa Farmhouse 1885
Mashed Turnips w/Balsamic-Caramelized Onions Adapted from: Napa Farmhouse 1885

2 lbs turnips
1/2 white onion, diced roughly
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp maple flavoring
2 Tbsp Italian parsley, chopped
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Peel the turnips and cut into 1-inch pieces. Place them in a large saucepan with water to cover and a large pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, until easily pierced by a knife, about 35 minutes. Drain. While turnips are cooking, sauté the onion in 2 tablespoons olive oil until deep golden brown. (about 15 minutes). Add 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar and continue cooking for 10 minutes or until vinegar begins to thicken. Add the maple flavoring and a pinch each salt and pepper and cook an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add the drained turnips to a large bowl and mash with a potato masher until smooth. Add the onion mixture and half the parsley. Stir to combine. Add additional olive oil (up to 1/4 cup) if the mixture appears dry. Taste and add additional salt and/or pepper if desired. mound on a serving platter and drizzle extra virgin olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar over top. Sprinkle remaining parsley over turnips and serve immediately. Serves 6.

Each Serving: 172 calories, 11.92g carbs, 2.9g fiber = 9.02g net carbs

Growing up, my Dad LOVED fried potatoes - a dish his Mom made often. Well, my Mom didn't make them often but we always were excited when she did - again a humble dish that is oh, so good. Turnips are perfect for frying -- especially if you are fortunate enough to get some small ones.

Photo Credit: Napa Farmhouse 1885

Pan-Fried Turnips in Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Adapted from: Napa Farmhouse 1885

extra virgin olive oil
2 lbs turnips, sliced into medallions about 1/2-inch thick
1/2 large onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
Sea salt
freshly cracked black pepper
2 Tbsp Italian parsley, torn

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Salt water like you would for pasta. Add turnips and cook until tender when pierced with a fork. Pour into colander, drain well and pat dry. Add 1/4 cup olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat. When oil begins to shimmer add the onion slices and chopped garlic and sauté until onions are translucent. Add the prepared turnips, a pinch of sea salt and cracked pepper to taste. Cook the turnips until well browned on one side. Flip the turnips and cook until the other side is well browned. Remove from heat and sprinkle with the parsley and additional sea salt. Serve hot. Serves 6.

Each serving: calories 129, 11.4g carbs, 3.0g fiber = 8.40g net carbs

Hash is one of those extremely humble dishes that although peasant-fare, oh, so good. In the tradition of hash, I made this next dish with a leftover pork chop.
Photo Credit: Saveur

Hashed Turnips
Adapted from Saveur

2 lbs. turnips, peeled and cut into 1/2" cubes 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 6-oz. boneless pork chop, cut into 1/4" cubes
salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste
1/2 large onion, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish

Place peeled turnips in a large bowl and cover with water; set aside. Heat oil in a 12" skillet over medium-high heat. Season pork with salt and pepper to taste and add to skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 5 minutes. Add onions and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, drain turnips in a colander and pat dry with paper towels. Add turnips, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, and butter to skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally and scraping bottom of skillet with a wooden spoon until turnips soften and lightly brown, about 15 minutes. Stir in heavy cream, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until turnips can be easily mashed with a fork, about 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a platter and sprinkle with parsley. Serves 6.

Each serving - Calories 244, carbs 14.24g, fiber 3.7g = net carbs 10.54g

So eat your turnips -- they are good for you BUT even better than that, they taste good!! Now on to try a potato-type dish with daikon radishes -- so may recipes, so little time :)

Disclaimer: I use to calculate carb counts based on the product brands used.