Adapted from Fine Cooking magazine, recipe by Susie Middleton
Serves 8 as a side dish
I made this dish last Thanksgiving instead of the traditional mashed turnips, and everyone loved it. The coriander and the cardamom give the dish a surprising complexity.
3-1/2 pounds purple-top turnips, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch dice
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 oz unsalted butter
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Generous pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro or a mix of fresh parsley with mint
Position racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven and heat to 475 degrees. Line two baking sheets with foil. In a mixing bowl combine the turnips, oil and 1-1/2 teaspoons of salt. Toss to coat well. Divide the turnips between the two pans and spread evenly in one layer. Roast for 20 minutes. With a large spatula flip the turnips, swap the positions of the pans and roast until tender and nicely browned, about another 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Whisk in the maple syrup, vanilla and red pepper flakes, then the coriander and cardamom, until the sauce is heated, about a minute. Remove from heat.
Transfer your turnips to a large mixing bowl. Gently reheat the sauce if necessary and stir in the lemon juice. Toss your sauce with the turnips. Add half of the herbs you are using and salt to taste. Transfer to a warm baking dish and garnish with the remaining herb mixture.
You could make this one day in advance. To reheat, put the dressed turnips (without the herbs!) into a large nonstick skillet and cover. Heat gently over medium-low heat until warmed through. Add your fresh herbs and season to taste with salt just before serving.