Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Turnips with Vinegar and Maple Syrup

The other day I put my Panama hat away in the trunk marked “Not Needed In Winter”, my butler poured me an autumn Armagnac and I found myself looking back on this year’s crop from what I laughingly call my vegetable patch. It was probably a decent return for very little effort. (Mind you, I'm still very grateful that there’s a large pick your own farm just up the road).

The homegrown vegetable that I've enjoyed most has probably been the humble turnip. I've wittered on about quick growing turnips before, but I'm still very impressed by them and I can’t understand why they’re not more widely grown. I get most of my seed from France where they’re grown far more often but small British varieties can give an excellent return as well.

This is a sweet and sour take on the turnip which is very simple but does rely on the use of good, small turnips as well as decent quality vinegar and maple syrup. You can use any sort of wine vinegar but one made from a sweet wine or sherry works particularly well. I used a vinaigre de Banyuls (not an expensive one) in this recipe, but that’s a bit obscure outside of France so a sherry vinegar or a mix of cheapish balsamic with a standard white wine vinegar would do nicely instead.
Turnips With Vinegar and Maple Syrup
This will serve 2 as a generous side dish.

350 g small turnips
3 tbsp wine or sherry vinegar (see above)
vegetable stock
2 tbsp maple syrup
a generous squeeze of lemon juice

Peel the turnips and cut into small chunks. Season and fry the chunks in a small amount of butter until they start to take on a little colour. Stir in the vinegar and add just enough vegetable stock to cover the turnips. Cover the pan loosely and simmer until the turnips are almost completely tender. The time this stage takes will depend on the size of the chunks and the age of the turnips, but 15 - 20 minutes will be about right for fresh, young turnips in smallish pieces.

Once the turnips reach the almost tender stage, remove the lid and increase the heat to reduce the liquid in the pan until there’s only around 2 tablespoons of it remaining. Stir in the maple syrup and continue cooking and stirring until the turnips are coated evenly with the sauce. Finish with the lemon juice and adjust the seasoning. A little extra black pepper added at the end is usually a good thing.
Vinegar and Maple Syrup

9 comments:

  1. This recipe interests me Phil. I'd never have thought of turnips and maple syrup together. Might try this instead of ladling said syrup on my pancakes next time!

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    1. In my opinion maple syrup is for life not just breakfast. I love the stuff.

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  2. I don't see turnips very often, swedes are more common. Perhaps I should take your advice and grow them next year. Can I borrow your butler? He sounds delightful.

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    1. Now I come to think about it I haven't seen many turnips in the shops lately and the few I have seen haven't exactly been the finest examples. There's obviously something sinister going on. Sadly my butler has informed me that he is in fact imaginary. I simply don't believe him.

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  3. Oh, and there was me thinking in reality you were a Lord in disguise! I love turnips, but as you say, the ones we buy here aren't very good. Sadly haven't space to grow any. Love the idea of using maple syrup.

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    1. Sadly, I'll only ever be a Lord of Misrule. I'm wondering if there's a Turnip Protection Society that I can join to raise the poor old turnip's profile.

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  4. Delicious Phil, and you really inspired me with turnips - I may do a version using pomegranate molasses. Loved your recipe : )

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    1. Oh yes pomegranate molasses would work I'm sure. As I've probably already hinted I think pomegranate molasses works so well with so many things.

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  5. This would be such a delicious festive side dish at Christmas Phil- a lovely recipe

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