I wasn’t sure what to do with the big bunch of turnips I’d gotten from the local CSA pickup this week, because turnips are one of those vegetables a bit outside my culinary comfort zone. But it turns out turnips mash up almost as nicely as potatoes. I riffed on this recipe from Eating Well, with sweet potatoes and turnips mashed together and flavored with thyme butter (the EW recipe calls for more sweet potatoes than turnips, but I made mine more turnip heavy and that worked out just fine). The result was creamy and light, with a traditional mashed potato consistency but way more flavor and less fat and calories. I did use butter, but you could substitute vegan margarine to keep things dairy-free.
Turnips, by the way, are quite good for you—and less loaded with carbohydrates than some other root vegetables (one 3.5 ounce serving of turnips has about 30 calories and 6 grams carbs). They’re also a good source of vitamin C, fiber, and potassium. And as members of the cruciferous vegetable family (like broccoli and Brussels sprouts), turnips are high in phytonutrients and antioxidants.
Mashed Sweet Potato and Turnips with Thyme Butter
(serves 4 as a side dish)
• 3 cups turnip (about 4-5 medium turnips), peeled and diced
• 2 cups sweet potato (about 1 large potato), peeled and diced
• 3 large cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
• 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
• salt + pepper
• In medium saucepan, add turnip, sweet potato and garlic. Cover with water, and bring to a boil.
• Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and let simmer 12-15 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Drain, then return vegetables to pan and cover.
• In small skillet, heat butter over medium-high heat. As it melts, add in fresh thyme and simmer for a 1-2 minutes.
• Pour thyme butter over vegetables and mix together.
• Smash with a potato masher. Stir in salt and pepper to taste.