Wegetable Vednesday, alweady?!
Portland Farmers’ Market
I did get some close-up shots of these beautiful beets and Japanese turnips. But how could I resist including this beautiful arm, itself nearly the color of the earth, laced with its branches and roots?
This is a wonderful farmers’ market, its tents and stalls spreading beneath a canopy of old trees that forms one long park through downtown. Vegetables, fruits, herbs, artisinal breads, pizzas, honeys and jams, every sort of baked good, shrubs and small trees, starts for your garden, children in strollers, bags brimming, fiddlers fiddling, sun and rain and fresh, everywhere earthly fresh. I had enough to carry so left my money in the car blocks and blocks away, knowing that Guinea Pig always carries cash. I left my very big-girl camera at home and brought something smaller. I was happily snapping away, when the camera suddenly seized. Already it was done for the day, and I’d only just started. OK then, time to fill our own basket to brimming. But with all the glorious goodness around us, how would we choose? It became simpler than expected when my husband brought out his crumpled $9, the sum total of what we had. Ruby beets, pale pretty turnips, and rainbow carrots. $3 a bunch. Cash broke and done.
Turnips have never appeared solo in our house, but always as part of a roasted vegetable medley or a soup or stock. Wanting to keep this simple though, I roasted these pretty little things with a bit of olive oil, a scattering of thyme from the garden and flaky salt and white pepper. When they were done, they’d sit on a bed of turnip greens drizzled with balsamic.
Roasted Japanese Turnips & their Balsamic Greens
bunch young Japanese turnips with greens
a dozen sprigs of fresh thyme
salt & pepper
squeeze fresh lemon (Meyer especially good)
white balsamic vinegar
Remove the greens from the turnips, leaving an inch or two of the stalks still attached. Gently scrub the turnips. (No need to peel.) Wash the greens, and then cut in approximately half, keeping the thicker stalks separate from the more delicate leaves. Set greens aside. For easy clean up, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the turnips in half from top to bottom and place cut-side up on the baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, scatter with salt and pepper, toss sprigs of thyme about. Place in a 400°F oven for about 20 minutes. Using tongs, flip the turnips over and continue cooking until tender. (May be about another 20 minutes.)
For the greens: Small-dice about 1 Tablespoon or 2 of shallots. Remove the leaves from several sprigs of thyme. When turnips are nearly done, place a skillet on medium heat. Drizzle olive oil in and when it’s begun to shimmer, add shallots. Cook half a minute or so, then add the stalks of the greens. Stirring continually, saute for a couple minutes. Add the green tops. These will wilt & be ready very quickly. Drizzle a spoonful of water, and as it evaporates, add a few shakes of vinegar, a drizzle of honey, thyme leaves, salt and pepper. Plate the greens, roll the turnips in the skillet then scatter about the top of the greens. Give a good squeeze of fresh lemon juice (Meyer if you have it.) Serve.