Okay, sometimes I need a nudge. Especially when it comes to vegetables. A few I love, but many I can happily ignore.
(Fruits are a different story. Haven’t yet met one I don’t like, and many of them I crave.)
Which is one reason it has taken us a long time to get on the CSA bandwagon. Here I am, touting locally grown foods, and this is the first year I’ve ever subscribed directly to a farm. It’s the Red Wagon Organic Farm out on Valmont Road, one of my favorite vendors from the Boulder Farmers Market.
So last week our first box was ready, and we were like kids on Christmas morning, pawing through the bags to see what the farm Santa had brought us.
I broke off a large red radish and bit into it, relishing the crunch. My eyes widened. It was sweet—the sweetest radish I have ever tasted. Possibly the best-tasting radish in my life, ever. I ate half the bunch on the spot. (Red Wagon means it when they say they are growing for taste.) For several days we ate with delight through more bags of veggies.
But then there were the turnips. We’re not, like, turnip fans, you know? The turnips sat in the fridge waiting for someone to get inspired.
Then my sweetie got on the web and found this recipe for baby turnips. It was simple, and we had all the ingredients—butter, olive oil, honey. How far wrong can you go? Best of all, the dish wouldn’t take long to make. (That’s the other reason we haven’t been CSA subscribers until now: you’ll rarely find us racing to the kitchen with stars in our eyes because it’s finally time to cook.)
My first turnip surprise happened while slicing them. I popped one into my mouth, expecting it to taste, well, like a turnip. Wrong. It was sweet and subtle and buttery. By far the best fresh turnip I have ever tasted.
But the second eye-opener happened when we scooped the cooked turnips onto our plates. It was a revelation! I plowed through one serving, then another, before touching anything else on the table. I ate them like I was starved for them. Like I’d been waiting my whole life for them.
Which, in a sense, I was.
Yesterday we emailed the farm and upped our subscription from biweekly to weekly. Today the farm Santa comes again, and I hear he’s delivering radishes and turnips this week too.
I can hardly wait.
Debbie’s Honey-Kissed Baby Turnips & Greens
4 small to medium turnips with greens
1 tsp butter (I used ghee)
1 tsp olive oil
½ tsp honey
Sea salt & freshly ground pepper
Wash turnip bulbs and trim tops and tails. They do not need to be peeled. Cut into half-inch slices. [I cut each turnip into two and then thin-sliced the halves.]
Wash green tops, separating out and discarding any yellowed leaves and keeping the fresh green ones. Spin or shake off excess water and chop greens.
In a heavy-bottomed skillet [cast iron is great], melt butter and add olive oil. When butter starts bubbling, add turnips and stir/shake pan to coat and distribute oil/butter. Let cook over medium heat, stirring and turning periodically, until turnips begin to soften and lightly brown, about 7 minutes.
Sprinkle moderately with sea salt, then add honey, stirring constantly to distribute–it will melt quickly.
Toss in the greens along with their clinging water. Continue to stir and cook until greens have wilted, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with additional salt and several grindings of black pepper, stir, and serve!