Most nights, fresh home from work, I find myself perusing the vegetable shelf in search of dinner plans. More often than not I fail to process the presence of swedes and turnips. Their appearance in comparison to PSB, carrots or a blooming bundle of red kale just doesn’t stimulate the same bolt of inspiration.
We should look more fondly on these root vegetables, as they’re so nutritious for such a low calorie punch. A huge source of antioxidants, excellent source of potassium, calcium, magnesium, and vitamins E and C. There is a reason these were your nanny’s favourite.
Both these root vegetables, often mistaken for each other, kick around for a few days before the guilt that I probably should do something with them forces me into action. Once eaten, my viewpoint is drastically changed and I suddenly vow to cook with them more often.
This cycle continues, and so today I wanted to collate some of my favourite recipes as a reminder to myself to ignore the initial impulse to brush over the classic swede and turnip in search of flashier vegetables.
Y'all need to get these guys in your life!
Neeps & Tatties Soup (https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/neeps-and-tatties-soup)
A Scottish classic and a wonderful winter warmer. Make a big batch, have for dinner, take for lunch the next day and it’s even freezeable for when you’re short on time and need a bowl of something reinvigorating.
‘This may sound like a grim dish in a grim vegetarian café, but it is not. Unfortunately I have not been able to think up a more tempting name for this delicious dish yet’ – The Complete Nose to Tail Book page 245.
In a pan, sweat a diced large brown onion in a generous spoon of butter until they’re soft, sweet and clear.
Turn off the heat. As the onions cool, smear butter over a deep ovenproof frying pan, into which you should begin to layer thinly sliced turnips (Use a mandolin for this if you have one, if not try to slice as thinly as you can).
Add and spread a layer of your buttery onion mixture, as you would a layer of Bolognese to pasta sheets in a lasagne. Season each layer with salt and pepper.
Repeat this process until the pan is full. Cover with tinfoil (Shiny side down), and place in a medium to hot oven for 1 hour. You’ll know it’s done when the centre gives with the slight prod of a knife.
If eating at home then spoon some mixture onto your plate, but if guests are present allow it to cool before turning it upside down onto a serving plate. A wonderful accompaniment to some roast lamb.
Carrot and Swede Mash (https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/carrot_and_swede_mash_89348)
A classic British dish with a fraction of the carbohydrates of it’s potato based sibling. The swede really adds some robustness to counter the natural sweetness in the carrots.
Really simple and easy to make. Thinly slice turnips, again a mandolin is incredibly useful here and set aside.
Pour 110ml of water into a pan and add 110ml white wine vinegar, a tablespoon of sugar and salt and heat until the salt and sugar have dissolved. Pour over the turnips and set aside for 2 hours to pickle.
Once ready to use, pour the pickling liquid away and enjoy. The sharp taste compliments fish delightfully.