The joy and consolation of turnips

Turnips are the preeminent fulfillment of my quest for gluten-free, legume-free, low carbohydrate, filling food. They are as versatile as potatoes and much more nutritious, as well as much lower in carbohydrates. Today, we got out our Lehman’s apple peeler, and my husband peeled about 4 pounds of turnips within a few minutes while I sliced some with a knife, and he used the peeler to spiral-cut the rest, which I then summarily cut in quarters to make little crescents.

I was lavishly happy in my kitchen with piles of neatly sliced turnips, and a baking pan, a large skillet, a sauce pan, and a casserole dish at hand. My friend Judy had sent me the suggestion of making french fry-like roasted turnip slices. I spread olive oil in the baking pan, covered the surface with turnip slices, and sprinkled them with salt, pepper, and oregano. I had to bake them for almost 50 minutes at 425°, but they were very good, and I ate them with some eggs. My husband’s observation that they were just like hash browns gave me the idea of simply making hash brown turnips that I could microwave for future meals. That was easy: I put a pile of sliced turnips in a large skillet, added a fair amount of olive oil, salt, pepper, and oregano, and fried them until most of them were golden brown. For someone who’s been unable to eat potatoes for several years because they elevate my blood glucose precariously, the hash brown turnips were trove from heaven.

While my turnip slices were were baking, I boiled a portion of sliced turnips until they were tender, and drained them. These were the basis of the turnip casserole recipe I developed, thinking there must be such a thing as a turnip soufflé. I actually found a recipe on the Internet for a turnip puff, but it used bread crumbs, an unacceptable commodity on grounds of gluten and carbohydrate content. So I modified the recipe using Parmesan cheese, and it worked beautifully.

Turnip Casserole

2 cups cooked, mashed turnips, cooled
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
2 eggs, separated

Combine turnips, Parmesan cheese, butter, seasonings, and egg yolks; mix with electric mixer until smooth. Beat egg whites until stiff; fold into turnip mixture. Pour turnip mixture into buttered 2-quart casserole. Bake at 350° for 40-50 minutes, until a knife blade inserted comes up dry.
Serves 4 to 6.

Afterword: my husband has planted two rows of Golden Globe turnips in our vegetable garden. The 55-day countdown commences….

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