Wednesday, December 16, 2009

First Bites... Turnips and Potatoes Purée

Turnips (navets in French)? Pff... some of you might not even try to read this post because of them. And yet, I do think that turnips need to be granted more attention. I personally love turnips in every forms and just in case you had not noticed, I already used some raw (in Coleslaw) or steamed (in Potée Lorraine). I have yet to roast some... but for the time being let's just puree them. My grand-mother grew turnips in her garden and if she managed to trick the wild rabbits, she would get a small production that she would inevitably share with all of us. So, I grew up eating turnips!
Since turnips have a peculiar flavor, my mother would mostly use them in her winter mix-vegetables soups. I actually don't remember my mother, let alone my grand-mother, ever using turnips in salads. I, because I was "a petit chat de cuisine" (a child, always in the kitchen who would "steal" food like a little cat), I had the opportunity to eat turnips raw after they had been peeled by grown-ups. I just loved them and I can't help myself to eat a few slices of turnips when I am cooking them. I add them in salads or serve them with a dip alongside carrots, celery or cherry tomatoes. Since I love them so much and they have had such a bad reputation (mostly because they are associated with War times in France), I have been trying to introduce them to my children early. When I was making purees when they first started on solids, I would make this potatoes and turnips puree. I generally use about 50% turnips and 50% potatoes (in weight) but you could only add one turnip to start with and steadily increase the turnips proportion to strengthen the flavor.
I served my children this puree last week-end together with white fish. My children were tired, it was a late lunch but I did not get any complains from them. They just ate it and asked for more (yes, they were hungry!). I froze the leftovers (I had made a lot) so that I have it handy for another day when I am in a hurry to make dinner. That's the good thing about purees, you can always freeze them. And thaw them in no time in a pot or in the microwave. Don't overlook the turnips next time you go grocery shopping! Bon Appétit!

- Turnips (peeled, cubed)
- Potatoes (peeled, cubed)
- Fresh Rosemary (or Thyme)
- Olive Oil
- Salt, pepper to taste

  • In a large pot, over medium heat, saute the potatoes and turnips cubes in olive oil with the fresh rosemary/thyme.
  • When the vegetables start to brown a little bit (or start to stick to the pot!), cover them with water.
  • Cook on low heat until vegetables are soft.
  • Blend or puree
  • Add salt and pepper to taste
  • Serve with heavy cream, creme fraiche, sour cream or butter (for grown-ups)
My Personal Comments:
  • I drained the vegetables with a skimmer to keep the cooking water. I used the cooking water to cook fish "au court bouillon".
  • I don't add salt to the puree when I first introduce it to young children.
  • You can freeze the leftovers.

1 comment:

  1. Oh I love purées for the baby. Frozen in ice -trays it's easy to pop out just what you need for a meal. Freeze up a couple at a time so you can mix and match. We don't have turnips here but it is so important from early to expose your young ones to different flavours and textures.