Yesterday was another Wednesday upon which I could not make it to our downtown farmers’ market.
Ok. I could have, but that would have meant setting aside the final deadlines keeping me from being fully and truly on vacation and being fully and truly on vacation won out. Luckily, the daughter is almost always up for the task, so I sent her with $20 and told her to bring me back beans and surprises. And so she did.
One of the surprises was a decent bunch of Hakurei or Japanese turnips.
I don’t know if you know this, but turnips are basically my fam. Which, I suppose, makes me worse than your everyday, run-of-the-mill cannibal, but I really love turnips. Especially those wee, succulent Hakureis.
I completely flipped my meal plans for the evening as the result of their presence in my household.
The thing I love most about Japanese turnips is that they almost always come in a delightful bunch with their delightful greens still attached. This makes them pretty much perfect for creating a dish that satisfies at least the starch and veg bits of a complete meal. This dish does that. The addition of mushrooms fills it out even better and the sauce will make you wonder why you even eat meat.
If you do.
I don’t mean to make assumptions.
It’s also dead simple, but comes off as super-fancy.
Trying to woo a vegan? Thin the sauce out with a bit more wine and serve it over soba noodles. Totes swoon-worthy.
Not gonna lie, though: tonight, I served this as a side to steaks.
This recipe makes four sides or two mains (especially if served over soba noodles).
What you need:
- 1 tbsp white miso
- 2 tbsp dry, white wine
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 tsp ground Sichuan pepper
- 1 tbsp veg oil
- 1 lb/450 g Japanese turnip with greens
- 150 g (about one cup) brown beech mushrooms, cleaned and separated with stem removed
- 1 shallot, sliced
What you do:
- Combine the miso, wine, olive oil and Sichuan pepper to make the sauce.
- Clean the turnips (I don’t peel because they’re tender enough and I want all of the turnip goodness I can get) and separate the greens from the tuber.
- Slice the tuber into wedges about half an inch thick.
- In a pot of boiling, salted water, blanch the turnip wedges for about two minutes, adding the greens for the last 30 seconds.
- Drain the turnip bits in a colander and drop into a cold water bath, then separate the wedges from the greens and chop the greens.
- In a wok or frying pan, heat the veg oil over high heat.
- Once the oil is hot, gently drop in the turnip wedges and push them out so they’re in a single layer.
- Once one side of the wedges are browned, stir them and add the mushrooms and shallot.
- Stir for one to two minutes until the extra liquid has evaporated, then add the miso and wine sauce and the chopped greens.
- Stir until everything is coated and hot.