An easy roasted turnips side dish to round out your holiday menu. Earthy, chewy and delightfully gluten free.
Even though my nana has been gone for quite some time now there are two situations in which I really miss her. The first is any time I have to cut a cake. This was always Nana’s job because she had the midas touch. It was something to behold, my nana, calmly doling out perfect looking slices of confection to a torrent of sugar-crazed children. I never saw her so much as flinch.
The second, and more poignant, is Thanksgiving. Nana made a puréed turnip side dish every year that I couldn’t get enough of. I spent real time at many a Thanksgiving dinner carefully positioning a slice of turkey, a layer of turnips and a tiny dome of stuffing on my fork so I could get all those complimentary tastes in one, well-executed bite. Everything else could be eaten willy-nilly. But the Thanksgiving Trifecta required a little extra effort. So worth it.
This Thanksgiving I decided to pay homage to my unflappable Nana with a turnip side dish of my own.
I started dreaming up something simple, healthy, textured and down to earth. The feel of this recipe was, no doubt, informed by my recent obsession with buying and renovating an old farmhouse. This is hard to do in Brooklyn. I’ll start by cooking like I live in a farmhouse.
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To make this dish, you prepare the rice according to the instructions on the package. As soon as you’ve got that going, cut the ends off your turnips, peel them and dice them fairly small.
Place it all on a baking sheet in a single layer. You’ll probably need two sheets for this recipe because I’m assuming you’ll have guests. If not, it keeps in the fridge for about a week, reheats nicely and tastes great with an egg on top (what doesn’t?) Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper and fresh thyme and roast at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.
And that’s it. Serve it up and watch it disappear.
Even if you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, the smell of this roasting in your oven will quietly prompt you to give thanks. Mentally. For all that is good and right in your life.
I hope that’s a lot of things.
- 6 cups of diced turnips
- 2 cups of diced leeks
- 1 cup of diced pancetta
- 2 Tablespoons of fresh thyme leaves chopped
- 1 cup of wild rice prepared according to package instructions
Preheat oven to 400°.
- Spread diced turnips, leeks and pancetta in a single layer on two baking sheets.
- Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Strew with thyme leaves.
Roast at 400° for 15 minutes. Stir and roast for another 15 minutes, until turnips are cooked through.
- Serve on a platter on top of the wild rice.