Friday, June 17, 2011

Fettuccine with Butter-Braised Turnips and Sage

CSAs are exciting, and I'm happy to see that they are really increasing in popularity. The Whole Foods near our house recently partnered with a few local farms to create their own version of a CSA called the Farmer's Pick Program.

From talking with the farmer at our CSA, Henry Got Crops, I've learned that people either love or hate them. The trend seems to be that you either join for one year and don't renew, or you are hooked. The biggest challenge is being given veggies that you are unfamiliar with or thought that you didn't like. Especially this time of year farmers will load your share with greens, turnips, radishes, kohlrabi, and other such produce. If you are like the majority of Americans, kohlrabi probably hasn't fallen onto your radar yet (and to be completely honest, its not entirely on mine yet - we got a honkin' big purple one on Tuesday and it has yet to be cooked). 

My goal for this CSA season was not to let a single thing go to waste. I'm learning new preparation techniques and eating healthier as a result! This week was an especially generous one. They got a new intern at the farm so the harvest was HUGE! Andrew and I are splitting a share with Randi and this week's have share included: aforementioned huge kohlrabi, beautiful head of red leaf lettuce, large bunch of turnips, radishes (swapped for bok choy because I have some that Grace gave me), and half a bunch of kale. Wow.

Turnips are a vegetable that I never ate that often. But they are so tasty!!! A member of the brassica family (broccoli, cabbage, etc.) they are chock full of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Iron and Calcium. You can eat the root part, but also the greens as well. Roasted, yum. Mashed, tasty. 

I love Mark Bittman and was quite sad that he retired from his post as the Minimalist Chef on the NY Times. However, he is still a contributor, and has been thrilling his readers with things like The Pasta Primavera Remix. He provides you with a whole bunch of different simple and modern takes the classic spring pasta. I bookmarked it and knew I'd be back.

This recipe is from the Remix. Very easy and I had everything on hand. Turnips from the CSA and Golden Variegated Sage in my herb garden. I added about a 1/2 teaspoon of hot pepper flakes at the beginning to give it a little kick. I also chopped up the turnip greens and added them in at the end. It was really tasty. Not too heavy either. In the future I will probably add more sage, olive oil, salt and pepper. 

Fettuccine with Butter-Braised Turnips and Sage
adapted from Mark Bittman
serves 8

Cook 1 pound diced turnips in 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat, stirring, until they begin to brown, about 10 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon chopped sage and 2/3 cup vegetable or chicken stock, white wine or water; boil until the turnips are tender and the liquid is almost entirely evaporated, 10 to 20 minutes. Toss with pasta and chopped turnip greens. Garnish: Chopped sage.

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