by Teri Turner, Contributing Editor to www.UglyProduceisBeautiful.org
Turnips definitely fit into the “ugly is beautiful” category. The local, organic turnips that I am passionate about buying are not always the most beautiful. Without science and pesticides, the turnips may on the surface be “ugly,” but they are luscious, delicious, real food. It’s easy to be afraid of turnips and not quite know what to do with them, but roasting them in a cast iron pan in the oven and finishing them on the stove with some stock and Chimichurri will help conquer that fear.
Chimichurri makes turnips so delicious and healthful! It’s versatile: spectacular served with roasted beef or tofu and a great way to use fresh herbs from your garden, or whatever you have left over in your refrigerator, so nothing goes to waste. I love cooking with my beautiful Staub cast iron pan, with its enameled, chip-resistant, natural non-stick-ish surface. I have to believe it’s better for my health than cooking with non-stick pans.
This dish is inspired by Gjelina in Venice, California. If you like vegetable-forward, out of the box eating, then this is a must-have cookbook. I’ve been cooking up a storm so check out my blog nocrumbsleft.net for more inspiration! Two of my favorite genius ideas this month are the garlic confit and tomato confit. They are revelations that elevate everyday cooking.
Heat the cast iron pan in a 450 degrees F oven until it’s super hot. Toss the turnips with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast the turnips for about five minutes, then flip and roast the other side for five minutes, or until soft. Remove pan from oven and place on stove. Add a couple of tablespoons of stock and Chimichurri. Stir to combine. Then add another two tablespoons of stock and stir until the turnips are browned.
You can make a Chimichurri any variety of ways using fresh herbs and olive oil. I chopped a bunch of flat leaf parsley and a bunch of fresh cilantro, then added a couple tablespoons of fresh oregano, although dried would be fine too. Mix in a finely chopped shallot, and toss in a half cup of olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste, a tablespoon of red wine vinegar, and smoked paprika to taste (between a teaspoon and a tablespoon). Let the flavors meld for about a half hour at room temperature. It’s lovely served with protein, especially steak or tofu, and stays fresh for about five days in your refrigerator.
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