Sometimes you just have to let go and live with the consequences. This was the case recently when the Accidental Locavore asked her husband to pick up the CSA share for the week. He tried to make it a test by choosing a bunch of turnips and challenging me to come up with something interesting with them. I was working on the rack of lamb idea and thought some version of a gratin would be interesting with the lamb. Serves 4-6 as a side dish.
- 2 pounds turnips, peeled and sliced very thin (use a mandoline or the thinnest slicing disk on your food processor)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ½ cup milk
- 3 large cloves garlic, peeled and cut in half
- 1 small bunch thyme
- 2 tablespoons butter, plus more for greasing the dish
- ½ cup goat cheese, crumbled
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 375°. Put the cream, milk, garlic and thyme in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and set aside to steep for 15-20 minutes. While the cream is steeping, peel and slice the turnips and grease a gratin pan or baking dish (about 11×7″). Layer in 1/2 of the turnips. Sprinkle with ½ of the two cheeses and dot with ½ of the butter. Remove the thyme from the cream and pour ½ of it over the turnips. Repeat with the rest of the turnips, cheeses, butter and cream mixture.
Cover the dish with foil, place on a baking sheet (easier to clean than the oven) and bake for 35-40 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for another 20 minutes until golden brown. Let the dish rest for about 10 minutes, serve and enjoy!
My verdict: Needs work. It tasted pretty good, and looked lovely, but my turnips were a little chewy. Might just need a little longer in the oven (or more thinly sliced turnips — I used the 3mm disk). The goat cheese mellowed the peppery flavor of the turnips, so maybe a little more goat and a little less Parmesan. I also tossed the garlic cloves in with the gratin, as who doesn’t like roasted garlic (but if you should be that person, toss the garlic and the thyme). I think the other secret to this dish is not to tell anyone its turnips, as my family wasn’t too interested but probably would have eaten it all up if they thought it was potatoes. What do you think?
Someone commented on HuffPost that she cooked the turnips in the milk and cream mix, then layered them. She said it came out wonderfully. Great idea!
And if you’re being really fussy, yes, those are French turnips from the market in Nice. Beautiful, n’est pas?