This is what happens when my husband generously offers to stop at the grocery store on his way home. I always say yes. And this time, I got one beautiful and very large turnip (two and a half pounds to be exact; the largest normally weigh under two pounds).
I was a little intimidated, so it sat on the counter for days. I offered to make it for him last night before he got on the red eye, but he said no. He wasn’t sure he’d like it enough for me to go through the trouble.
But after hearing a woman in the grocery store rave about the antibiotic nature of this vegetable, I was determined to try it. I just received a note about strep throat going around at school, so I feel even more inspired.
The woman at the store claimed that it is the best natural antibiotic on earth. According to my research, she might be right. One web site suggested: “If you are weathering a cold and willing to try something new, take two turnips and write me in the morning.” Raw is most effective, but past generations ate boiled turnips and drank the water daily during the winter in order to stay healthy. And in some countries, you can buy hot steamed turnips from cart vendors. Perhaps they know the healing power of the humble turnip.
Here is how I prepared the one you see above. The second I cut into it, I flashed back to “the farm.” It is the place my Dad’s parents bought and cared for in their retirement. I think my Grandmother must have made turnips there and it was probably the first place I smelled them (not sure if I tasted them). Such sweet memories. I think I’ll make them more often.
Buttered Turnip Puree
2 pounds of turnips, chopped
whole milk to cover the turnips in the pot
3 fresh thyme sprigs
3 cloves garlic, smashed (I actually used 6 small cloves)
1/4 cup honey
1 stick butter
Combine the turnips, milk, thyme, and garlic in a pot and simmer over medium heat until the turnips are tender (approximately 30 minutes). Test with a fork. Remove and reserve the liquid. Discard thyme stems. Puree the turnips with honey, butter, and 1 cup of the reserved cooking liquid (drink the rest – I strained it first; add a little cocoa powder and *maybe* the kids will drink it). Season the puree with salt and pepper and serve hot. It is delicious, but I would recommend serving something on top of the puree (like grilled meat or roasted vegetables).
On day 26 of this 365 day project, I ate my daily five (including a salad of just green – but the herbs made *plain* taste good). Did you enjoy yours?