I’m not one to conceal or disguise vegetables. In fact, I love all veggies, except lima beans. And that’s more of a legume, right? One of my favorite vegetables that my grandmother used to prepare for me was kohlrabi, a delicious root vegetable.
Last weekend at the farmer’s market, when one of my favorite farmers gave me two bunches of turnips, I graciously accepted their gift and wondered, as I was driving home, what the hell was I going to do with them?
I’ve never eaten a turnip. My grandmother used to cook them for my father along with the turnip greens, but I refused to eat them. Why? I have no idea. I think they sort of stunk up the house a bit. So the thought of what to do with these turnips made me think.
And then I realized, why not cook them with some potatoes and make mashed potatoes and turnips? Voila. There it was. I could conceal the turnips with mashed potatoes. Brilliant. On the nutritional side, turnips are an excellent source of potassium and calcium, and they are rich in Vitamin C.
Not only was this a brilliant idea, it was down right delicious. Proof is that we have made this dish twice in one week. I highly recommend you get yourself a bunch of turnips and some potatoes and make this recipe right now. You’ll never believe how good it is. And no one but you will know there are even turnips in there. And, for that, you’ll thank me, for sure.
The photo below is last night’s dinner–fresh baked ham with onion gravy (center bottom), spinach and mashed potatoes and turnips topped liberally with more onion gravy.
Mashed Potatoes and Turnips
This sly combination of mashed potatoes with turnips is the only way to convince me to eat turnips. I could hardly notice the addition of turnips and they turned out to be worthy of repeat. Should you find yourself with a bunch of turnips, hide them in mashed potatoes and no one will be the wiser.
- 1 bunch turnips greens removed, peeled and diced
- 3 red potatoes the larger ones as opposed to the baby reds
- 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- Combination of butter extra virgin olive oil and/or Smart Balance
- 1/4 cup milk I use fat-free, but use whatever you have
Rinse the turnips and potatoes. Cut the tops and the bottoms off of the turnips and peel them using a vegetable peeler. Slice into rounds and dice into 1/2-1 inch pieces. Do not peel the potatoes, but cut and dice the them same way as the turnips so it all cooks evenly.
Place the diced potatoes and turnips in a large sauce pan or a pot and cover with water. Add one teaspoon kosher or sea salt and stir. Place on medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Once it boils, turn the heat down just a bit so it doesn't boil over, but watch it carefully and stir occasionally.
After about 10 minutes, use a fork to test the doneness of the potatoes and turnips. Once a fork goes in and out of the potatoes and turnips easily, they are done. Depending on the actual size of your dices, will determine the amount of time it takes to cook, so it may be more than 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and drain in a colander. I usually to leave a little bit of water (about 1 tablespoon or so) in the bottom of the pan for added liquid and to use as a natural thickener, as it is full of starch from the potatoes.
Add any one or all of the following (of course, if you only use one emulsifier, you will need to add more than what is suggested here) a combination of 1 tablespoon of butter, 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon Smart or Earth Balance or butter. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of salt and grind a bit of freshly ground pepper.
Using an old-fashioned potato masher or a hand-held mixer, begin mashing the potatoes and turnip mixture. Once it is mashed a bit, add the 1/4 cup milk and continue mashing until it gets to the consistency that you like. We like to keep it a little chunky for added texture.
Taste for seasoning and add more salt and/or pepper and butters if desired. Also, if it's too thick add a little more milk to thin it out.
Serve hot and enjoy.