Time for Turnips: Farm Fresh Friday – what to do with Turnips

I’ve been wanting to join a Community Supported Agriculture group for about 2 years and finally signed us up. I want to increase our fruit and veggie intake, learn more about what’s in season and try new-to-me items. My CSA farm is in Capay, Yolo County, California.

grilled pancetta wrapped turnips

This dish was so yummy, you’d never guess that I was at a loss when I saw the turnips in my farm box. I’d eaten turnips before, but I had never cooked them. I knew I didn’t want soup, even though I knew I liked a tangy turnip and green apple soup that Chef Susan made.

I hit the recipe sites again (epicurious, all recipes, 101 cookbooks) and this time an appetizer from epicurious caught my eye. Pancetta- and Sesame-Coated Turnips : crunchy, salty, and fried. Yummm. But fried? I don’t fry well. The few times I’ve tried, I’ve been popped in the face with the hot oil. OUCH! Plus, I’m lazy. That recipe called for slicing, and wrapping and coating and frying. Too many steps.

turnip wedges wrapped in pancetta

So why not just wrap them, and stick them on the grill ? Except I didn’t want to heat up the grill outside just for a turnip experiment. Did I mention I’m lazy?

using the panini press as a grill

So I threw them on the panini press! Brilliant! I put them on high heat and the pancetta grilled up nice and crisp. Since I had a few turnips, I did them in batches and after they were nice and grilled I put them in the toaster oven on 250 to cook them just a bit more. They were slightly crunchy and smokey salty good.

Not really a recipe but you get the idea:
I had sliced pancetta and used about half a slice for each piece of turnip that I cut into chunks wedges about 1/2 inch thick.

Preheat the panini press or grill to a high heat and put the seam of the pancetta wrap down on the grill first. Turn as they brown to get all sides (about 3 min per side) . Stick them in a preheated 250 degree oven to finish for about 10 min.