Saturday, October 23, 2010

Confessions of a Turnip Virgin

It's been a while since I posted any market stuff, and there's really not much special about today's trip, except that I bought way too much broccoli, which really isn't a problem, since one of the many ways you can tell me aparat from George H.W. Bush is my love of broccoli. I'll just make up some snail butter (butter, minced shallot and garlic, parsley, black pepper) and steam one bunch, and the other will probably get cooked with olive oil, garlic, anchovies and dried red pepper to become spaghetti sauce. I got some celery, too, for an experiment making red beans and rice for tonight, since I may have found some sausage that'll work in that. 

In the picture, there are some late Roma tomatoes which'll become part of a pizza, a huge head of romaine lettuce for the caesar salad dressing I'll make tonight, some tiny pears from the guy with the best pears at the market, and two ugly black turnips. These are the famous navets du Pardailhan, evidently renowned all over France (I mean, a turnip with its own website? They take food seriously around here!). For what, I don't know; I don't even think I like turnips. But I sighted them briefly last year and someone started raving about them so I'm going to try roasting them. Anyone out there with ideas for them, please chime in; this guy's only at the market for a couple of weeks, then he vanishes until next year, but I bet these things will keep for a good while. I assume you peel them after washing them, but this is my first try with them, so any info is welcomed. 


  1. I've made a simple warm salad a few times. A good way to appreciate their sweet almost nutty taste - nothing at all like a regular turnip. From memory: -

    Peel and cut into disks. Steam until just tender (takes about 10 mins?)
    Take a handful of parsley leaves (can be chopped a bit or left whole)
    Stone and halve some juicy black olives
    Make a dressing of olive oil, vinegar or lemon juice, mustard, black pepper.

    With the navettes still warm toss everything together and enjoy.

    They can also be used raw - see recipes for Daikon raddish.

  2. turnips are great in couscous. they carry the sauce well but you can just taste their turnipyness.

    Mike Eisenstadt in Austin

  3. Try a small piece raw. We used to have raw turnip slices at dinner for a crunchy treat -- a little like radish in texture but much milder. These were American supermarket turnips though.

  4. Just found the recipe. Only difference is it states boil for about 20 mins.

    Salade de navets tièdes

    Cuire à l’eau bouillante salées 1.5kg de navets épluchés et coupés en rondelles. Le navet est cuit lorsqu’il est transparent (environ 20 min). Assaisonner les rondelles de navets encore chaudes avec une vinaigrette bien relevée, persil haché et une tasse d’olives noires dénoyautées. Déguster tiède.


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