How often do you turn to turnips? Perhaps not often enough? A sorely overlooked vegetable today, the turnip has been eaten in Asia and Europe for 4,000 years. The Greeks and Romans both appreciated the turnip and developed several varieties. It was popular in Europe until the potato took over as the number one tuber of choice. Though it does not always enjoy the highest praise, it is easy to grow, inexpensive to buy, holds up well in cool storage, and is a very versatile vegetable, worthy of more attention.
So, looking for a new way to incorporate its warming nourishment, I recently spun a pot of cooked turnips into a vegetable-filled alfredo sauce.
Turnip Alfredo Sauce:
- 1-2 onions, chopped
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3-4 turnips (if you’re able to find Gilfeathers, this is the variety I would recommend — will turn previous turnip skeptics into lovers!), cut into small pieces
- 1/2 cup milk or cream (or substitute a vegan “milk” or coconut milk)
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon salt
- freshly ground pepper to taste
- freshly ground nutmeg (optional)
- Warm olive oil over medium high heat, add onions and saute until translucent (about 5 minutes)
- Add garlic and turnip pieces and stir to combine.
- Add just enough water to cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and allow to simmer until turnip pieces are tender (10-15 minutes).
- Transfer mixture to a blender or food processor. Add milk, cheese, salt and pepper and puree until smooth.
- Serve as an alfredo sauce over pasta or vegetables, or as a bechamel sauce over fish or eggs.
High in vitamin C, fiber, potassium, folic acid, calcium and other antioxidants and trace minerals, incorporating this hardy root into wintertime dishes is an easy way to increase nutritional value, particularly of creamy dishes. With their low glycemic value, turnips make a useful addition to any weight loss or blood sugar balancing diet.