27 July 2012

in the kitchen

Gardening continues to inspire and stretch my cooking. Well, at least I'm trying lots of new recipes. Over the past few weeks I've continued to search for a dish that we like made of Turnips, but it just doesn't seem to be happening. I've learned that there are two keys to cooking turnips: peeling them well and using bacon. Every turnip recipe I find uses bacon.

So we've tried turnips pan-roasted with brussel sprouts, turnip greens cooked w/bacon and onions, a turnip souffle which failed (I didn't cook the turnips in water long enough- one of the first steps- so they weren't tender enough and remained a bit bitter)
and my favorite, a dish of turnips and peas. I actually liked this last one but my family didn't so I'm still trying to find new recipes!
I've also been finding lots of uses for Tomatoes, now that they're ripening faster than we can eat them. We have the usual caprese salad, and thick slices on sandwiches and burgers. The other day I made a pizza from scratch and discovered at last minute I had no pasta sauce in the cupboard. I didn't even look at a recipe but just ran some fresh Tomatoes through the food processor with a bit of garlic and tons of oregano, plus some thyme and parsley, simmered it on the stove. It made a very tasty pizza sauce! Not as thick as I'd like, but I did it so quick.
My daughter made this little pizza for herself, with different ingredients on each quarter. We also put the first diced green bell pepper out of the garden on the pizza.
This week I also ran out of sugar for a few days, and surprisingly it wasn't much of an issue. We substituted dried, powdered (in the coffee grinder) Stevia from the garden for sugar: a pinch or two in the pancake batter and homemade pizza dough, a pinch in my coffee.

Also been trying a few new things with Swiss Chard. The frittata has worn off its novelty and nobody seems thrilled about it anymore. I put some on a pizza in lieu of spinach and that was okay, but not great. I made a chard quiche which I liked a lot, but no one else really did. Then tonight I made a chard lasagna, from scratch (well, put together from scratch. The recipe has you make the pasta yourself and the tomato-basil sauce yourself, but I bought those). And it was scrumptious! Everyone liked it. The best chard dish so far.

(I added a ground beef layer to the recipe because my husb hates dishes without meat)


patsy said...

It is believed in my family that trunips are for the older people.younger people will eat them raw but find any other way not likeable. I have known people to fry turnips like fried potatoes but i don't care for them that way. I just boil them and season with bacon fat. eat with corn bread. HMMM of course I am 74 years old and classed as a old person.
in the ozarks during the depression my grandparent raised turnips for feeding the milk cow in the winter. the reason turnips are considered a hard time crop, you sew a large patch of them around august 1 here and they will make because we usually get fall rains in the ozarks. I will sew turnips and mustard seeds in my garden patch august 1 and feast on turnip and mustard greens then have turnips to cook and give to anyone who wants them this November.

Jeane said...

They certainly seem to be an acquired taste! I liked them best in the peas dish I made, where they were fried, so maybe I'll find other ways to cook them that way. They are one of the easiest crops in my garden, little trouble and grow so well.

Dalio said...

I've never been much of a fan of carrots or turnips, but smashed together with a bit of butter makes a delightful side to just about any dinner. The sweetness of the carrots tempers the bitterness of the turnips.
ps. love your blog!

Jeane said...

I like carrots, much more so than turnips. The turnips & carrots w/butter does sound good- thanks for the idea!