When this week’s veg box arrived I must admit I was slightly stumped by what to do with a bag of sprouts and bunch of turnips.
But then remembered an absolutely brilliant turnip recipe in the Cranks Bible*, which never fails to amaze me. There’s a lovely description of how this “cattle fodder” becomes so meltingly delicious and “of all things to say of a turnip, exotic” which first tempted me to try it, and since then its become a firm favourite.
Even Mr F, a meat-eater, now loves it and wolfed down seconds of what was, admittedly, a bit of a ‘hippy vegetarian’ dinner as below.
If you want the recipe for the Cranks* Stoved Turnips you’ll just have to buy the book, (though I’m not sure if its now out of print – there only seems to be second-hand copies available on the web?).
Basically, the baby turnips (golf-ball sized are best) are peeled and braised slowly in a broth of stock and white wine with garlic and onions. After half an hour almost all the liquid has been absorbed, and just before serving some red chilli, cheddar cheese and chopped parsley are stirred through.
It really is quite incredible how they end up – there’s nothing turnip-y about them at all, they soak up all the flavours of the very rich sauce and just melt in the mouth.
On to the sprouts. I’ve had a box of wholewheat Giant Cous Cous hanging about in my cupboard for a while, so came up with this concoction as an accompaniment to the turnips. Giant cous cous is an interesting grain – it is cooked like a risotto, and needs 15-20 minutes of cooking (instead of 2 minutes for normal cous cous – don’t get them confused!).
- 10 g butter
- 1 garlic clove crushed or finely chopped
- 100 g wholewheat giant cous cous
- 60 ml white wine
- 10-12 brussels sprouts finely shredded
- 150 ml cold water
- ½ vegetable stock cube
- 50 g feta cheese
- Juice of ½ lemon
- Handful pine nuts
Fry the shredded brussels sprouts with the garlic and half the butter for 2-3 minutes or until wilted and becoming tender. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Melt the rest of the butter in the pan and add the cous cous. Fry for 2 minutes, then add the wine. After a further minute, add the stock cube and water. Cook for 15 minutes or so, stirring occasionally and adding a splash of water if necessary, until tender and no liquid is left.
Return the sprouts to the pan, crumble in the feta cheese, squeeze over the lemon juice and sprinkle with pine nuts.
Make it vegan: Just replace the butter with dairy-free margarine and omit the feta.
Unrelated to sprouts or turnips, I’ve just finished icing my Christmas Cake with sugarpaste roses. Hope you’re feeling festive too!
*Please note that these are Amazon affiliate links – I will receive a small commission if you order the book via this link.