Friday, March 19, 2010

Mashed Turnips and Potatoes with Horseradish Bread Crumbs

potatoes at the greenmarket

All good things must come to an end and in all ends there is a beginning, right? Right. That includes the seasons, of course. I won't lie and say that I will miss the winter. The produce has been at its worst and just now am I beginning to see early artichokes, asparagus, and okra looking good, sweet, and edible. I am now thinking spring in many ways--cleaning, painting my kitchen and bathroom fresh colors, craving salads and crisp vegetables, and pining to go outside when I see the sun come out. In general, I finally feel normal again. I know the present warm spell won't last all month, but a week and a half of gorgeous 60-70 degree days is just fine by me!

The first of my spring projects--painting!

Tomorrow at midnight is the official start to spring so I am squeezing in one more winter recipe. I have been meaning to make it at home all winter and, I think, this may be my last chance before it's strangely out of place on the table. Mashed Potatoes and Turnips with Horseradish Bread Crumbs is a recipe I found long ago on with the nutty flavor of Yukon Gold potatoes, the earthiness tones of turnips, and horseradish bread crumbs to give it a bite.

This may even work for your Easter table or Passover table since those menus tends to be a winter-spring fusion of foods. This could easily replace humdrum mashed potatoes and become a new family favorite. I, for one, am making it this weekend and serving it with roasted vegetables--any that I can find. This includes some that you make not think of as roasting vegetables. I was thinking of the classic carrots, celery, onion, red pepper, maybe eggplant. I am also tossing in asparagus and green beans into the roasting pan, tossing it all with olive oil, a splash of white wine, garlic, and dried thyme and roasting at 375 for maybe 30-35 minutes. I also like roasting broccoli and cauliflower if you are looking for something different to roast.

Garlic Chives look nice on display but even nicer in my food!

Mashed Turnips and Potatoes with Horseradish Bread Crumbs
adapted from a recipe from

2 lb Yukon Gold potatoes, or other yellow-fleshed potato
1 1/4 lb turnips
2 1/4 t salt
7 T unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
1 cup coarse fresh bread crumbs (from about 2 slices sandwich bread?)
2 T drained bottled horseradish, patted very dry between two paper towels
3/4 cup milk, soy milk, or I like to use almond milk
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 cup garlic chives, if available (this is my own spring-y addition!)

Peel potatoes and turnips, then cut into 2-inch pieces. Cover potatoes, turnips, and 2 teaspoons salt by 2 inches cold water in a 6-quart pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until potatoes are tender, 15 to 18 minutes.

While vegetables cook, melt 3 tablespoons butter in a 10-inch heavy skillet (preferably cast iron), then toast bread crumbs with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, stirring frequently , until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add horseradish and toss until combined well, then transfer to a small bowl.

Drain vegetables in a colander, then return to pot and mash. Stir in milk, remaining 4 tablespoons butter, and scallion greens over low heat until combined well and heated through. Season with salt and pepper, then serve topped with bread crumbs (and snipped garlic chives, if you found them!).

*Makes 10 servings, according to the recipe. I would guess it is more likely about 6 servings.

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