It's February. Even if you were, as my family recently was, the accidental recipient of *TEN POUNDS* of candy conversation hearts via Amazon (that's a whole lotta love), nothing exciting usually happens during this month. If you're a CSA subscriber or farmer's market shopper and live where winters are cold, you can't escape root vegetables, either. You may choose to avoid them—that's understandable—or you can wholeheartedly embrace them and get creative, as we've been trying to do.
This winter, I've had turnip hummus on replay. I know, it doesn't sound too sexy and it's probably not an actual, true hummus, but I promise it's delicious and easy, and you should try it if you're looking to put some turnips to good use. You roast the turnips whole and skin-on (my preferred way to cook beets, as well), and blend them with a liberal amount of tahini, roasted garlic, and lemon juice. If you have a more powerful blender you'll get an ultra-smooth, whipped texture, but you can use a food processor or crappy blender for a slightly more rustic vibe. The recipe:
- 3 medium turnips, scrubbed
- 2 garlic cloves, peels on
- 2/3 cup sesame tahini (stirred well)
- 2 TBS fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin, or to taste
- 2 TBS olive oil (if needed)
- 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
- Preheat oven to 375°. Wrap turnips and garlic cloves loosely in a foil packet, add a splash of water, pinch the foil shut, and place in a baking dish in the oven. The garlic cloves will probably be ready in about 30 minutes, or when soft. Roast turnips for about 45 minutes to an hour, or until soft enough that a knife tip easily pierces the turnip. (check regularly, as ovens and turnips vary!)
- When done and cool enough to handle, chop the turnips a few times (skins included) and squeeze garlic cloves out of their skins (discard skins).
- Put all ingredients except olive oil in your blender and blend until very smooth. If tahini was very solid you may need additional olive oil. Taste for salt and add a bit more—and more lemon juice—if needed. Serve at any temperature, and add a swish of olive oil and/or a sprinkle of zaatar.
|With roasted carrots|