Turnip for what? If you’re over 30 or don’t live with a teenager, you might not get that joke. But I assure you, it’s very, very funny. My kids are cringing about now, but I’m sure they’ll forgive me, since these mashed turnips with brown butter and bacon are divine.
Would you believe that we’d never tried turnips until about three weeks ago? True story. But when we were visiting my in-laws in Connecticut for Thanksgiving, our dear friend Marion told me all about her mom’s mashed turnips and had me drooling. I had to get the recipe and see what we’d been missing. Whoa!I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that I didn’t even know what turnips looked like. I had to Google a picture of them so I could find them at the grocery store. I took a photo of them for you though. You’re welcome.
When you peel the turnips, they look like small, white potatoes. In this dish, the turnips are boiled, mashed and mixed with brown butter, bacon, and a little brown sugar, plus salt and pepper. (My adaptations included omitting the bacon grease and browning the butter to give it a rich, nutty flavor.) The turnips taste similar to cauliflower, and this dish is savory with the slightest hint of sweetness.
The turnips have a much higher water content than cauliflower, however. In fact, you only use one cup of water to boil/steam the turnips, and even after draining, you’ll notice some liquid in the bowl when you serve these. Still, they’d be an excellent substitute for mashed potatoes.
Brown butter, brown sugar or bacon alone can make any meal delicious. But include all three, and you have a dish that sings. Yum! Where have these turnips been all of my life?
(Recipe Source: Adapted from a recipe given to me by our dear friend Marion, who got it from her mother, Mrs. J., whom we remember with much love. What a spunky lady!)