Tag Archives: Turnips

Best Roasted Brussels Sprouts + 10 Fave Thanksgiving Sides

This time last year I was preparing to be on television the day before Thanksgiving. (The Martha Stewart Show—I cooked quick veggie sides from Fast, Fresh & Green.) A few years back I did a satellite media tour around this time to promote Fine Cooking’s book How To Cook A Turkey. The year before that, I did a radio blitz for most of November and December to promote all the holiday tips and recipes on Fine Cooking’s website (which, if you haven’t looked lately, is by far the best place to go to plan your Thanksgiving menu. Check out the cool interactive Create Your Own Menu Maker. But I’m not biased or anything.) Well, you can imagine how relieved I am not to be PR-ing this holiday season. I did in fact just record some radio spots for Fine Cooking that will soon air on WGBH (I’ll keep you posted); but they were a whole lot of fun to do—and they didn’t require a new wardrobe or an anxiety attack.

So we are free and clear to have a simple and quiet Thanksgiving at the farmette (yippee!). I still have squash, rutabagas, onions, kale, arugula, herbs, and salad greens from the garden, plus green beans, corn, and roasted tomatoes that I froze, so we will be able to make most of the meal über-local. I will wander across the street to the West Tisbury Winter Farmers’ Market on Saturday to see if I can get the rest of what I need.

Regardless of where you plan to get your goodies, most of you, I know, have this one thing on your mind: What kinds of dishes can I cook that are easy and delicious, that everyone likes, and that will serve a decent-sized crowd? To that end, I’ve gathered a list of ten of my own favorite side dish recipes that serve at least six people (below). Some of these recipes reside on sixburnersue.com, but several are ones I developed a few years back for an “updated classics” story on Thanksgiving sides for (you guessed it) Fine Cooking magazine. And I also threw in a “create your own” creamy veggie soup from another FC article I did years ago, in case yours is the kind of family that likes to start the meal with an elegant soup (or needs options for vegetarians).

But for the tenth recipe on the list, I couldn’t resist posting my Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Orange Butter Sauce. This is a recipe I originally created for Fast, Fresh & Green but that I tweaked last year for the TV gig so that it would feed more people. I just remade it this morning and am happy to confirm that it is not only delicious, but possibly one of the fastest and easiest Thanksgiving side dishes ever to make.

Here’s my list:

1. Green Beans with Crispy Pancetta, Mushrooms, and Shallots

2. Roasted Turnips with Maple and Cardamom

3. Pomegranate-Balsamic-Glazed Carrots

4. Bourbon Sweet Potato and Apple Casserole with a Pecan Crust

5. Creamy Baked Leeks with Garlic, Thyme, and Parmigiano

6. Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes with Roasted Garlic

7. Thanksgiving Gratin of Butternut Squash, Corn & Leeks

8. Potato Galette with Fresh Rosemary & Two Cheeses

9. Creamy Vegetable Soup (Pick Your Own Veggie!)

10. Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Orange Butter Sauce (see below)


Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Orange Butter Sauce

I’ve roasted Brussels sprouts a few different ways, but you can’t beat this method for volume (large rimmed sheet pans hold a lot), quickness (16 to 18 minutes in a 475° oven), and great results (by halving the sprouts and roasting them cut-side down, the tops and bottoms brown but the interiors steam). The flavorful butter sauce gives the nutty roasted sprouts just the right touch of tangy-sweet richness to make this completely holiday-worthy.

_________________________________________

2 lb. small Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 tsp. kosher salt

1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar

2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup

2 Tbsp. fresh orange juice

1 tsp. finely grated orange zest or lemon zest

4 Tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces and kept chilled

________________________________________________

Preheat the oven to 475˚F. Line two large heavy-duty rimmed sheet pans with parchment paper. In a mixing bowl, toss the Brussels sprouts with the 1/4 cup olive oil and 1 tsp. of the salt. Divide the sprouts between the two sheet pans and arrange them, cut-side down. Roast until brown and tender, 16 to 18 minutes. (The tops will be dark brown and crispy and the sprouts should feel tender when pierced with a paring knife.) Transfer the sprouts to a mixing bowl.

Combine the balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, orange juice, and orange zest in a small saucepan. Heat the mixture over medium heat just until it’s hot (you will see a bit of steam), but not simmering. Remove the pan from the heat and add the cold butter, several pieces at a time, whisking constantly until the mixture is smooth and creamy. (Don’t reheat the mixture or the butter will break and the sauce won’t be creamy.) Pour the sauce over the sprouts and stir thoroughly but gently until most of the sauce has been absorbed. Transfer the sprouts and any remaining sauce to a serving platter and serve right away.

Serves  8

Try This Tonight: Roasted Turnips & Pears With A Rosemary-Honey Drizzle

Sorry, but if I told you what I’d been doing for the past week or so, I’d have to kill you. Only kidding. It’s not top-secret. Just complicated in the way that only multiple Island-to-mainland round-trip ferry rides can be. Complicated in the wearing-lots-of-hats kind of way. You know, as much as I like being farmette girl, this week I had to wear some of my other hats (as we all do from time to time). I had to be cookbook author/cooking teacher girl and photo shoot girl, and more importantly, family girl and friend girl. Dr. Seuss would be proud, as I did manage to stack all my hats on my one head all at one time.

Anyway, the point is that you would die of boredom if I transcribed my diary, so instead, I’m offering you a timely recipe suggestion today. We have been gleaning pears from our neighbor’s pear trees, which were a bit rattled by Irene and are letting loose their fruit like a wet dog shaking off water. (I said gleaning, not stealing—the neighbors invited us to pick.) I’ve also been harvesting the purple-topped turnips I planted in July. I am in love with these darn things because they are so pretty and sturdy and useful and delicious all at once.

And, as it happens, for some reason (maybe I really was channeling the seasons), when I was writing Fast, Fresh & Green three years ago (that long now!), I developed a recipe that uses both turnips and pears. It also happens to be drop-dead easy and delicious. It was one of the recipes I demonstrated on Martha Stewart Television last Thanksgiving, and it was also featured in Martha’s Vineyard Magazine (see photo of finished dish). The recipe—for Roasted Turnips & Pears with a Rosemary-Honey Drizzle—came to mind last week not just because of the pear-picking, but because I wanted to give farm stand customers a turnip recipe that might encourage them to experiment. (And I admit, that might get them to buy turnips!) I know people often disdain turnips for their bitter edge, but I find they are delicious roasted, especially when combined with something a little sweet. (They are also really yummy in a slow-sauté, like the Caramelized Turnips, Potatoes & Carrots with Onion & Thyme I posted last year.) If you’re turnip-averse, please give this a try.

Roasted Turnips & Pears with a Rosemary-Honey Drizzle

For a printable version of this recipe, click here.

There’s a lovely balance in this autumn side dish between the sweet pears and the, well, not-so-sweet, turnips – and between the floral honey and the piney rosemary. All the flavors come together in a way that just might be palatable for people who normally wouldn’t eat turnips. These would be delicious nestled next to a braised lamb shank or some short ribs. Purple-topped turnips don’t need peeling; nor do I peel pears when I’m roasting them, so this is an easy dish to put together.

___________________________________________

3 medium purple-topped turnips (14 to 15 ounces total), unpeeled, cut into large (1/2- to 3/4-inch) dice

1 firm but ripe Bosc or Bartlett pear (about 7 ounces), unpeeled, cored, cut into 1/2-inch dice

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon honey

2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary

___________________________________

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F. Line a large (18- x 13- x 1-inch) heavy-duty rimmed sheet pan with a piece of parchment paper. In a mixing bowl, toss the turnips and pears with the vegetable oil and the salt. Spread the turnips and pears in one layer on the sheet pan and roast, flipping with a spatula once or twice during cooking if you like, until the turnips are tender when pierced with a paring knife or spatula, 25 to 30 minutes (the turnips will be brown on some sides, the pears will be a bit darker).

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan and add the honey and the rosemary. Simmer for a few seconds and remove from the heat.

Transfer the cooked turnips and pears to a mixing bowl and drizzle the butter mixture over all, scraping all of the mixture out of the saucepan. Toss well and transfer to a serving dish.

Serves 3

So Much for the Simple Life: A Second Book & A Date with Martha Stewart

I moved to Martha’s Vineyard three years ago for a Simpler Life, and I got it. Granted I wasn’t any Paris Hilton, but I did have a lot of pointy-toed high-heeled shoes and frilly skirts. These days, I am most comfortable (and most often) stomping around in my muck boots and my blue jeans. For me, these boots have come to symbolize the freedom and peace I feel on the Island.

This past Saturday was a great example of what I love about my new life. We woke up, pulled on our boots, and trotted over to the Ag Hall (the big barn-like structure where the Fair and lots of other cool local events are held) to check out the indoor Winter Farmers’ Market. (We live right across the street from the Ag Hall now.) The indoor market, only in its second year, has already worked itself into the fabric of the year-round community, and it’s a great place to go to see friends, get a cup of coffee and stand around the fireplace, maybe buy a bar of Island-made goat soap or a quart of Island-made yogurt or even a piece of Island-made chocolate. And there are veggies like nobody’s business, since our warm Island fall extends the growing season right through to December. I restrained myself and walked out with only one bunch of beautiful turnips. (On a typical Saturday morning in my old life, I’d be in the car racing up and down Route 1 or I95, trying to cram in errands I couldn’t do during the week.)

So I was going to blog about the market and the turnips this week, but then, since there was an even cooler event that happened Saturday night (at the Ag Hall again, of course), I thought for a moment I might write about that! Our local nonprofit, Island Grown Initiative, held a pig- and chicken-roast fundraiser called “Local Meat is Good to Eat—But There’s More to Life than Chicken.” The group, which has been very successful in introducing a mobile poultry processing unit to the island (and increasing the number of chickens raised here), has received a state grant to do a feasibility study for a potential USDA four-legged humane slaughter facility on the Vineyard. The fundraiser was planned as a way to bolster the grant money. The food was amazing, but the community spirit even more affecting. IGI had expected 150 to 200 people—and 400 members of the community showed up! (And $12,000 was raised.) I felt really proud and grateful to be part of that community. But truthfully, showing up at a delicious pig roast for a good cause might fit well with my idea of a simpler life, but what these folks are doing for the farming (and entire community) on this Island is anything but simple. But that’s the way life goes; the good stuff only comes with hard work and a fair dose of complication.

So ultimately, after procrastinating on writing this blog, I decided not just to focus on the market or the fundraiser. Because life, no matter where you live and how you approach it, is never all that simple. This is very much on my mind right now for two reasons.

First, a month or so ago, I was asked to write a new book—quickly. The publishers of Fast, Fresh & Green, Chronicle Books, were so happy with this first book of mine that they figured why not publish a follow-up book (sort of a sequel—though I keep thinking that I hope this one is better than Jaws 2!) in the Spring of 2012. So I gave them a proposal for Fresh & Green for Dinner, a collection of vegetable-driven main dishes, and lo and behold, I got a February 15 (2011!) deadline. Yikes. This of course, is both great and scary at the same time. And anything but simple. I am now pushing myself at a pace that I don’t really like—working day and night to get recipes written, developed (which means several tests on my part), cross-tested, and edited. (Grilled pizza, anyone?) I’m feeling just a little bit like I did in my old life—speedy (though that could be from all the coffee I drink). But that’s okay. Because I’m grateful that I have a job (crazy as it is) that lets me live where I want to—in this beautiful place.

Secondly, there’s another not-so-simple reality to being a cookbook author: Publicity. And when you get an opportunity to appear on a national TV show—especially one that’s hosted by a fabulous cook—you don’t say no. So on the morning of Wednesday, November 24—the day before Thanksgiving—I’ll be standing next to Martha Stewart, telling her (like she doesn’t already know!) and a live studio audience, about quick-roasting vegetables. It’s a prime spot for a cookbook author, since Thanksgiving is the number one cooking holiday, and I’m excited that I’ll be able to talk about something that really is easy to pull off on Thanksgiving. (Quick-roasted vegetables can pop in the oven after the turkey comes out and cook in the amount of time the turkey needs to rest.) I’ll be cooking the popular Vanilla and Cardamom Glazed Acorn Squash Rings, and yes, turnips! (Roasted Turnips & Pears with Rosemary-Honey Drizzle), as well as Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Orange Butter Sauce, all from Fast, Fresh & Green. (You can get the first two recipes online here, from a recent article in Martha’s Vineyard magazine.) If you want to watch, I’ll be on the 3rd and 4th segments (the show starts at 10 a.m. on the Hallmark Channel and I believe repeats at 1 p.m. Oops–no I’m wrong about that. It repeats at 2 pm that day. The 1 pm show is a repeat of the day before!). Roy and I will be taking Libby down to New York for the night, and the two of them will get to be a part of the live audience (and maybe visit backstage, too!). Somebody is pretty excited, let me tell you…

In the past, I dreaded TV appearances. But I’m in a different spot now and am really anticipating this with joy, not in small part because I know my friends and family will share in the excitement. But also, the producers of The Martha Stewart Show are real pros, and I feel lucky to be on a quality program that values home cooking. So while it wasn’t in my plans to get on the ferry, drive down I95, and put on my public face (no pointy-toe shoes, though) the day before Thanksgiving, I’m there. It was, afterall, a simple decision.

Bitter Gets Sweet (I Swear!): A Recipe for Caramelizing Turnips In a Cast Iron Skillet

I know you are thinking I have lost my mind. Last week it was celery root; this week it’s turnips. “Can’t she write about something delicious—or something my family will actually eat?” I hear you asking. I’m sorry, but I just couldn’t pass up the chance to tell you about this—the absolutely most delicious way to cook turnips.

In fact, I’ve already written about this technique—slow-sautéing in a cast-iron skillet—once this week. I moonlight as an occasional blogger over at the Huffington Post’s Green Page, and this week I’ve been participating in their latest challenge—The Week of Eating In. At first I felt a little silly saying, “Sure, I’ll eat in for a week,” since I already cook and eat most of my meals at home. (Plus I just recently posted my opinion on why I think everyone else should cook at home more, too!) But then I realized I could help other people in the challenge by posting tasty ideas for cooking veggies at home.  And since I had just made my slow-sautéed turnips, potatoes, carrots, and onions for like the 12th time this winter, I figured I’d share that yummy idea on Huff Post.

Over here, I wanted to post the whole recipe (and a few more photos), and to also let you know that there are many more “slow-sautés” coming in my cookbook, Fast, Fresh, & Green. The recipes in the book were developed for a straight-sided stainless steel sauté pan, since I think more people own them than cast-iron pans. But cast-iron is so perfect for this kind of dish, because it captures and distributes heat so evenly, that I wanted you to be able to try it if you can. (You can get a pre-seasoned Lodge cast iron skillet for about $15.)

I start this kind of sauté by dicing (pretty small but not too fussy) whatever roots I’ve got on hand and piling them into the skillet with lots of olive oil and herb sprigs. The pan will be really crowded at first—that’s okay. As the vegetables cook, they brown and steam at the same time (and they shrink quite a bit). I always add some aromatic allium—onion, leeks, or shallots—about halfway through cooking for added moisture and flavor.

But the most important thing I do is to keep my ears tuned to the sizzling in the pan. It should be a steady, perky sizzle—but nothing too explosive sounding. The sizzle’s your cue to how fast the veggies are cooking. You want them to brown and steam at about the same rate, because your ultimate goal is deeply browned (yes, caramelized) vegetables that are cooked through, too. This is much easier than I’m making it sound. All you need to do is stir every once in awhile and maybe adjust the heat once or twice. The veggies will be done in about 35 to 40 minutes—but you’ll have plenty of time to make whatever else you’re having for dinner while they’re cooking. (By the way, for vegetarians, these sautés are hearty enough to plunk in the middle of the plate.)

Caramelized Turnips, Potatoes, & Carrots with Onions & Thyme

If you don’t have a cast iron pan, you can make this recipe in a 10-inch straight-sided sauté pan (stainless interior). The browning won’t be quite as even, and you might need to add a bit more oil, but the results are still very tasty.

___________________________________________________________

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more if needed

½ pound purple-topped turnips, trimmed but not peeled, cut into ½-inch dice

½ pound Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled, cut into ½-inch dice

½ pound carrots, trimmed and peeled, cut into ½-inch dice

½ teaspoon kosher salt, more if needed

5 to 6 thyme sprigs

1 medium onion (about 5 ounces), cut into medium dice

___________________________________________________________

In a 10 or 11-inch cast iron skillet, heat the 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the turnips, potatoes, carrots, salt, and herb sprigs and stir and toss well to combine and to coat with the oil. (The pan will look crowded.) Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring and flipping occasionally with a metal spatula, for about 20 minutes. (Listen to the pan—you should hear a gentle sizzle, not a loud one. If the vegetables are browning too quickly, reduce the heat a bit to maintain that gentle sizzle. If they seem dry, add a bit more olive oil.) Add the diced onion and continue to cook, stirring and flipping with the spatula, until the vegetables are deeply browned and tender all the way through, about another 15 minutes. Remove the herb sprigs before serving. Taste and season with more salt if you like.

Serves 3 to 4