Turnips and Sage, What's a Cook to Do?
This week's blog has a dual focus; turnips and pineapple sage. First, let's take look at the Hakurei turnip. You experienced these turnips in your share last week and I am sure many of you for the first time. They are a lot like a radish in that their flavor can have a little bit of a bite to it. The turnip and the greens can be used fresh
in a salad, or they can simply be cooked together for a great side dish or added to any roasted veggie dish.
1. To saute them together, you will need to bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil and prepare your turnips by cutting the greens off leaving less than 1/2 inch still attached to the turnip bulb; wash the greens and set aside; take the turnip bulb and cut it into 4 or 6 wedges.
2. Put the leafy greens in the boiling water for 1 to 2 minutes; transfer them from the boiling water to a bowl of cold water; once they are chilled drain the excess water and squeeze as much liquid out as possible; chop the leaves into small pieces.
3. Heat about 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over high heat until the first singes of smoke appear; add the turnip wedges and season with salt and pepper; stir or toss occasionally till the turnips are well browned in spots which takes about 3 minutes; if it looks like the turnips are going to burn, lower the heat.
4. Add the chopped greens to the skillet and cook only about 1 minute so the greens are warmed; drizzle with a little fresh oil and season with salt and pepper before serving.
A simple search will produce a number of recipes for these delightful Japanese turnips like 23 Japanese Turnip Recipes, 11 simple and delicious Japanese turnip recipes, or the best Japanese turnip recipes on Yummly. I think I will personally have to make some Cucumber and Turnip Salad with Yuzu.
That brings us on to Pineapple Sage. It doesn't actually taste like pineapple, but it does have a pineapple like scent. Pineapple Sage has a much milder scent and flavor than standard culinary sage. It makes a wonderful addition to mild flavored chicken recipes or even fruit salsas. My favorite way to use it is to infuse it with fruit in water or muddle it with some mint in a mojito. When you are looking through your herb bag, the pineapple sage is the large leaf that is not furry. Pineapple sage can also be made into a tea similarly to culinary sage. All you do is boil some fresh leaves in water, strain, and then allow it to cool. My favorite medicinal use of pineapple sage is stress relief, research has shown that a cup of cold sage tea every morning can lower stress levels. You can find more information about the benefits and possible side effects of Pineapple Sage here.