Thursday, March 16, 2017

Turnips Gratin a la Jarlsberg

There once was a turnip in a garden.  The owner of the garden watched the turnip, that was planted last season, grow... long after the harvest of the others like it.  The turnip grew and grew as the summer turned to fall, then winter.  The owner would peer out into the now barren garden space and see the bright green tops beaming valiantly above the cold and lonely ground.  The owner watched the snow fall and cover the turnip. The owner watched the rays from the sun shine and melt the snow away.  The owner thought about pulling it up and mashing it with potatoes.  The owner thought about this for months. 
 One day the owner did indeed pull up the turnip and headed inside to make good on the thoughts the turnip had evoked. The turnip was huge by any standard, but slightly disfigured on one side.  The injury had probably happened when the turnip was just a 'pup', marring it and affecting it's normal growth.  The turnip healed it's wounds inflicted by the garden tool used to work the soil, but also gained an appearance much like that of a cave filled with stalactites and stalagmites.  By a supermarket standard this turnip was not a winner.  The turnip was not acceptable.   Something in the owner made her keep going past the back stairs of her home and down the lane to her sister, who once made an amazing soup from turnips and leeks.   The owner decided that this was a job for a person who liked challenges. 
You probably guessed it already, I'm the neighbor and here is what I did with this turnip.
This was a large turnip so, I had to peel and slice first before parboiling for 15 minutes in salted water with a splash of organic vinegar and a bay leaf.  After par boiling the turnips, I shocked them in cold water, then medium diced the turnips.  The regular supermarket turnips will most likely only be a fraction of this size, (this one being about the size of a grapefruit) so these extensive steps may not be necessary.

6 cups diced and par-cooked turnips, about 5 minutes
1/3 c. thinly sliced onion
1/8 tsp. turmeric
1 tbsp. or less olive oil 
1/2 c. shredded Jarlsberg cheese
Chives for garnish
2 tbsp. cooked crumbled bacon for garnish, optional 
Turn on broiler.
Heat oil and butter on medium high heat and add turnips, onions and turmeric.
Continue to cook, stirring and tossing constantly until the turnips show signs of browning on most sides, about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and spread into oven safe dish.  Garnish with bacon.
Sprinkle cheese evenly over top, then chives and place under broiler until slightly browned, about 2 minutes.
Serve immediately.
Makes 6 servings.

For more wonderful turnip recipes, search "turnips" on this site!

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