Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Trying Out Turnips

Several things have caused me to become more interested in turnips. First I have generally become more interested in root crops since I planted my first batch of carrots a couple months ago. Once they get going you just keep them watered and they magically turn into delicious food hidden beneath the earth. Second, I am always interested in expanding the variety of things I grow. Third and last, in the last Harry Potter book I read they ate mashed turnips, which lead me to believe that they can't be that different than a potato and strengthened my resolve to grow them.

My boyfriend, who is a bit more practical than me sometimes, recommended I buy some turnips and try cooking them before I fill the yard with them. This of course lead to a recipe search and when I saw the recipe I am about to share with you I fell in love. How can anything smothered in a creamy garlic and Gouda sauce be bad? It can't. I served this recipe with the roast chicken I posted about a couple of days ago and it was wonderful. I'm sure it would also make a great companion to your Thanksgiving turkey!

Potato & Turnip Au Gratin with Leeks

1 lb russet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 lb turnips, peeled and thinly sliced
3 leeks, white section only, thoroughly washed, thinly sliced
1 cup whole milk
1 1/4 cup heavy cream
2 cup shredded Gouda
3 large cloves garlic, minced
2 TBSP butter

Salt & pepper to taste

1) Preheat oven to 365 degrees. In saucepan combine milk, cream, garlic and salt and pepper. Do not boil. Reduce heat and simmer for another 5 minutes, then set aside. Don't be shy on the salt, it will help flavor the potatoes and turnips.

2) In a large pan melt 1 T. of the butter and add leeks. Cook for 7-8 minutes until leeks start to brown, stirring frequently, then set aside.

3) Spread remaining butter around a 9x12 baking dish, covering all sides. Assemble potatoes and turnips in dish alternating each vegetable. Season each layer with salt and pepper.

4) Add 1 cup of gruyere and cooked leeks on top of first turnip and potato layer.Pour cream mixture over the top just barely covering. Layer remaining vegetables seasoning with salt and pepper. Top last layer with remaining cheese and cover with cream mixture.

4) Bake for 40-45 minutes until top is golden brown and potatoes can be pierced easily with a sharp knife. If you're worried about burning you can cover with foil and leave it covered until about 10 minutes before it's done. I would also recommend placeing the dish on a cookie sheet in the oven incase it boils over a bit.

This is a VERY rich dish so a little goes a long way. This recipe serves +/- 9 adults. For a normal family size I would cut it down to an 8x8 dish unless you like lots of leftovers. Mmmm, on second though, stick with the big dish! So delicious.

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