Turnips are not my favorite vegetable. They’re a little bit too watery and bitter for my palette. But every year when Food Network Fall Fest turnip week rolls around, I try to find ways to love them. Last year, it was via a rustic hash and this post about other bittersweet, non-turnipy things…like break-ups.
Since I’m supposed to be talking about turnips here, and my last turnip recipe was almost exactly a year ago to the day, I went back and read my post. And it got me thinking not at all about turnips. So I’m going to roll with that…
I’ve always hated going back and rereading my diary entries. I remember doing it a few times in high school and getting serious tard-tingles. This is a made-up word that my old co-worker invented for the type of secondhand embarrassment you feel when watching things like bad stand-up comedy, male acapella groups, or Chris Jenner’s talk show. But it works perfectly for what I feel when reading old writing of mine.
Everything just sounds so melodramatic and overwrought. Granted, if this is my high school diary we’re talking about, it probably was. But I got a similar feeling when re-reading last year’s turnip post.
Part of this feeling is a good thing. I’m in such a different, more positive little-black-dress-wearing place now that I can’t remember a time when I was so freakin mopey. This fall I’ve been running around like a mad woman, embracing my single city life and having a ball. Some weeks I would kill to have a quiet night in with a salmon steak and some turnip hash. But I have the rest of my life to watch bad TV and eat my omega-3’s. Right now, there are glow sticks that need wearing and hangover Chinese food that’s not going to order itself.
But really the take away in reading last year’s post is that I was depressed. I assume most of you have had a period like this in your life and know how hard it is to recognize when you’re sitting in the middle of the cloud. I’m so glad to no longer be feeling like a million saddie face emoticons, and more like a little emoji monkey.
So in the spirit of being back to my sassy self, I’ve jazzed up my turnip offerings from the depressing days of yore with a little miso butter. I’ve never been one to shy away from a little fat to make my vegetables worth eating. The sweet, salty miso helps to tame that bitterness that I keep mentioning, and the butter makes watery mashed turnips a silky, elegant dish. There, I did it. I talked about turnips.
Do you have any foods that you’ve turned to during a dark patch? Let me know about them in the comments. Perhaps we can reinvent them in your life as something new and sassy and not so bittersweet.
- 1.5 pounds turnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon white miso
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- Place the turnips in a saucepan with water to cover and 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, until easily pierced by a paring knife, about 35 minutes. Drain and return to the pot.
- Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl, combine the butter, miso, and half the scallions. Microwave until melted, about 10 seconds. Whisk until smooth.
- Add half the miso butter to the turnips. Mash with a fork or potato masher until a coarse puree. Taste for seasoning.
- Serve the turnips in a bowl with the remaining miso butter on top and garnish with the scallions.
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