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Monday, February 2, 2009

Smashed Turnips + Crispy Shallots

Lets be honest, the Farmers Market at the end of January can be kind of bleak. Although the Providence Winter Market does do a great job - this past Saturday I bought an "olive pillow" (airy bread roll stuffed with green olives and herbs) from the Olga's Cup & Saucer stand, homemade organic ginger ice cream, apple crisp (when heated and served with the ginger ice cream is actual heaven) sundried tomato / feta spread from Narragansett Creamery, and...drum roll...a turnip!

A turnip...hmmmm. For some reason everyone says that turnips taste and act like carrots when in actuality, I don't think they do at all. In fact, I've decided that turnips taste like and have a similar texture to cauliflower. As good as mashed potoates are there are so many vegetables that are so delicious mashed with butter, milk, and salt (cauliflower, peas, carrots, etc.) It is a fun mission to find a seasonal vegetable and mash it up - an unexpected sidedish and something different!

Smashed Turnips:
1 large turnip, diced
1 tablespoon butter
Splash milk
Salt & Pepper
*If you want to make this vegan use soy milk/butter or just mash with vegetable stock.

Peel the turnip with a vegetable peeler and dice it up into 1" chunks. Put the chunks into a large sauce pan filled with water. Bring the water to a boil and cook until the turnip is fork tender, about 20 minutes.

When soft, drain and return to pan. Similarly to mashed potatoes, mix in butter, milk, salt & pepper and mash up! Mix in more / less milk to make the vegetable the consistancy you like. Make sure to taste and add more salt if you'd like.

Crispy Shallots:
3 medium shallots, sliced thin
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons flour

Slice shallots thin. Toss in flour (the flour coating will make them extra crispy!)
Heat olive oil in a saute pan over medium / high. Shake shallots of excess flour and cook in oil until brown. When done, let drain on paper towel and sprinkle with salt. You may have to do 2 batches (don't crowd the pan!)
Warning: You're going to want to eat all the crispy shallots right off the paper towel and you're going to want to but these on everything you eat. They are good.

Top hot mountain of mashed turnips with crispy shallots and enjoy!

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