Until yesterday, I had no idea what ‘braising’ meant. I’d also never eaten a turnip. But after reading about braised turnips in Vegetarian Times (no recipe included), I decided to give both a shot. And despite my winging it, it didn’t turn out half bad!
Braising is a method typically applied to meat, but it can be done with vegetables, too. Basically, you pan-fry your food subject at a high temperature for a short time, then let it cook slowly in light liquid in a covered pot for a longer time. Here’s the psuedo-recipe (and I call it that because it’s rather imprecise, and based on an amalgamation of information from a few websites and recipe books) I used to braise turnips with rosemary and white wine:
Ingredients: Turnips (4 medium-sized), 1/2 cup vegetable broth, 1/2 cup white wine, fresh rosemary, fresh garlic, shallots or white onion (1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped), salt + pepper.
Preparation: To get started, remove turnip greens (you can use these for something else later), wash turnips and cut into wedges. Pan sear turnips in olive or other oil until they get slightly browned.
In a pot, add about 1/2-cup vegetable stock and 1/2-cup white wine. The trick to braising is to use just enough liquid that it doesn’t quite cover your meat or veggies.
Once turnips are browned, add them to the pot of liquid, along with two sprigs fresh rosemary, four cloves garlic, chopped shallots or onion (I used sweet white onion), salt and pepper.
Cover pot with lid, and let simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes, until turnips are nice and tender. Discard rosemary sprigs, and serve.
For more on braising, see here. For more on turnips, see here. And for my humble opinion on how my experiment in turnip braising turned out? Well, quite fancy and French-cuisine-esque, if I do say so myself. And quite delicious. I highly recommend you pick up some turnips at the next farmer’s market you attend …
Photo: Cast Iron Foodie