Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Warm Turnip Salad with Citrus and Olives

There are just some things I really want to like, but just haven't yet acquired the taste. Shellfish of most sorts, game meats, escargot. Though I'm a fan of most veggies, the lesser roots would be in that category, too. Turnips, rutabaga, celeriac (celery root), parsnips. Though I am learning to make friends with some of them - parsnip fries are a new favorite for three out of the four of our family. But in general the others, when I get them in my veggie box, elicit a sigh along with the thought of "how am I going to make myself eat these?" Though I ended up giving a large bag of assorted roots to a friend after they started piling up in my veggie drawer, I did keep a small bunch of Scarlet Queen turnips recently out of sheer curiosity.

Having received many bunches of Japanese turnips (AKA baby or Tokyo) in my box, we've eaten them raw like a radish or gratineed, but would Scarlet babies work the same? They were small like a Japanese turnip and they still had the leaves. They looked like they would be tender and not in need of long cooking and I enjoy mild radishes with citrus so a salad might work. Bacon always adds salty goodness and crunch to anything (don't throw anything at me, Vegans, and you bacon-eating vegetarians, you know I'm right!) and olives add a contrast to the orange and scarlet colors. So off to salad world I go...

Warm Turnip Salad with Citrus and Olives
Enough for two side salads

1 small bunch baby turnips (Tokyo, Scarlet Queen, etc.), washed, leaves removed and chopped
1 orange, peeled and cut into supremes (skinless segments), reserving juice (How to click here)
2 thick slices bacon, cut into 1/2" pieces and fried til crispy, reserve a little of the fat. (totally optional!)
2 scallions, cut into 1/2" slices on the diagonal, keep white and green parts separated
a small handful oil-cured black olives (or whatever you have on hand)
1/2 tbsp sherry vinegar (or apple cider or red wine)
salt and pepper to taste

Thinly slice the turnips. Arrange the chopped leaves on salad plates.

In olive oil or reserved bacon fat, saute the turnips and saute only long enough to slightly wilt them. Remove the turnips carefully and leave behind as much of the fat as possible. Arrange the turnips on the leaves. Saute the white part of the scallions in the remaining fat (add more if necessary). Stir in the reserved orange juice and sherry vinegar. Drizzle over the turnips then arrange the olives, bacon and orange segments over the top.

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