CARAMELIZED TURNIPS AND KOHLRABI
This dish is a little sweet, but the shallots add a savory note to the root vegetables. One will be surprised at how good these two vegetables can be. There are lots of different kinds of turnips – the most common is white – and that is why it was chosen for this menu. Some grow with their tops peaking above the soil line and can turn purple, red, or light green. The root of a turnip has a pungent flavor similar to raw cabbage or radish, but it becomes mild after it is cooked. Kohlrabi, known as the German turnip, is part of the same species as wild cabbage, but its taste and texture are similar to those of a broccoli stem, but milder and a little sweeter. Some even like it raw in salads, but when cooked together these two make a delicious food combination. Both turnips and kohlrabi are available in stores pretty much year round, and although many may be wondering why turnips and what the heck is kohlrabi, all I can say is try it and be pleasantly surprised. If one can find the purple kohlrabi variety, that color works well for an offering to Nuit, too.
3 cups fresh kohlrabi, trimmed, thick green skin sliced off and white insides diced
3 cups turnips, peeled and diced
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons fresh garlic, minced
2 shallots, minced
2 cups vegetable stock
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Sea salt to taste
Toss the sliced kohlrabi in a bowl with the olive oil and salt. Spread the pieces out on a baking sheet and roast them at 450ºF. (230ºC.) for 15 minutes, but stir them often so they cook evenly and don’t burn, every 3 minutes.
In a medium saucepan heat the vegetable stock to a boil, add the diced turnips, lower to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. When done, drain and set the turnips aside.
In a large frying pan with a little more olive oil, saute the shallots and the garlic until the shallots are soft. Add the butter and sugar, stirring for a minute until incorporated. Add the cooked turnips along with the roasted kohlrabi, stirring until all are well coated with the butter and sugar. Continue to cook until each piece browns and becomes a bit caramelized. Season to taste with the salt and serve hot.
Butter and kohlrabi are of water, turnips are earth of water, and brown sugar is of air. Vegetable broth is made up of water and fresh onion, carrot, celery, garlic, bay leaf, parsley and pepper. The bay leaf, garlic and pepper are of fire, the carrots, onion and celery are water of fire, and the parsley is of air. The olive oil and shallots are also of fire.