The Beet

I sell vegetables for a living and yet I am the first person who makes it a habit to eat the same ones week in and week out. It’s easy. And when you’re busy, easy is comfortable.

Despite being able to say I enjoy most vegetables, I have to admit there are plenty I rarely if ever eat. So for this year I am pledging to pick one fruit or vegetable every week that I rarely if ever enjoy and use it in a meal. I will blog about it in hopes of inspiring you to expand your food choices, too!

I will call this “My Vegetable Project.”

I selected Scarlet Turnips as my first choice. I probably haven’t eaten one in at least 5 years. But when I sunk my teeth in to a raw chunk of turnip the other night when I was prepping for my Scalloped Turnip dish, I was immediately transported back to the Springs when Dad grew them and I would enjoy cutting them up and eating them raw for a snack while dinner was cooking. I was appalled at myself for forgetting how much I truly enjoy this vegetable! It’s earthy, peppery bite combined with the juicy texture immediately reminded me of how addicting I found this flavor. And the addictive nature of consuming turnips all around really. Its juices quenched the thirst of my taste buds while the earthiness transported me to the open fields where the experience of snatching one by its greens and yanking it out of the earth is a feeling hard to top for there is nothing more satisfying than scavenging for your own food in Mother Nature.

After making Scalloped Turnips I must declare that everyone should try a Turnip! And if you are skeptical, this recipe I have is a great way to give them a try. Yes, there is the very seductive, nutty Gruyere Cheese and I even sprung for Grana Padano but it was truly the sweet, earthy turnips that make this dish succulent. Thyme marries wonderfully with the cheeses and turnips, too! If you try it, let me know what you think.

Scalloped Turnips

• 3 large turnips                                                                                                                                                                                       • 1 cup gruyere cheese
• 1 cup shaved parmesan
• 4 tbsp butter
• ¼ cup whole milk
• fresh thyme
• salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 375F.
2. Peel, trim and slice the turnips very thinly. I used my mandoline.                                                                                           3. Melt 2 tbsp butter and put in a baking dish.
4. Put a layer of turnips on the bottom of the dish on top of the butter.
5. Season lightly with salt and pepper and add ⅓ cup gruyere cheese and ⅓ cup parmesan cheese.
6. Add a tbsp of butter, cut into small pieces and place on top of this layer.
7. Drizzle 2 tbsp milk over the turnips, top with some fresh thyme.
8. Repeat steps 4-7 until a total of 3 layers are formed. Finish with a cheesy top.
9. Bake for 25-30 minute until bubbly and brown.

Look at this bubbly pan of goodness! Yum!

Look at this bubbly pan of goodness! Yum!