Roasted turnips taste sweet and mild, with a creamy soft texture. The bitterness of the nutritious greens gets tempered by the sweet roots, a splash of lemon juice, and bits of salty bacon, making a light main course, or a unique side.
Recipe by: The Boujon Gourmet
2 bunches small tokyo or salad turnips, with their greens (around 15 small turnips in all, weighing roughly 1 1/4 pounds)
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon for cooking the greens
3 ounces (2 or 3 strips) bacon, diced
squeeze lemon juice
1/2 – 1 bunch chives, snipped
Position a rack in the lower center of the oven and preheat to 450º.
Cut the greens off of the turnips and reserve. Wash the turnips and trim away the tail and stem ends. If your turnips are bigger than a ping pong ball, halve them; if they’re much larger, cut them into quarters.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large, oven-proof skillet over a medium flame. Add the diced bacon, and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, a few minutes. Lift the bacon out of the pan leaving behind the fat.
Add the turnips to the pan, sprinkle with a few pinches of salt, and toss to coat them in the oil. Put the pan into the oven, and roast until caramelized and tender, about 30 minutes, turning the turnips a few times throughout the baking.
While the roots roast, wash the turnip greens well, and either cut each leaf off the stem, or use the lazy approach: stack a bunch of leaves on top of one another, and begin slicing the leaves into 1/2″ ribbons until you get to the stemy part, then discard. (If you cut off all the stems, have a beer, then stack and slice as directed.)
When the roots are done, remove them from the pan. Place the pan over a medium flame (don’t forget – that pan handle is hot!) and swirl in the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Add the sliced greens, and toss with tongs until wilted and tender, about 5 minutes. Season with a bit of salt and a squeeze of lemon. Add the turnips and bacon to the pan, then add the chives and a few good turns of black pepper. Adjust the seasoning as you wish, then serve.