May 24, 2012

Spring Root Vegetables with Fresh Herbs

I recently relocated back to Montana, where spring is just beginning and the temperatures are still cool.  The local farmer’s market is in full swing but fresh vegetables are just starting to arrive.  Among them are radishes and Japanese or baby turnips, some of the most delicious brassicas due to their spicy yet tender nature.  Turnips are so often overlooked or overcooked and radishes are rare, generally relegated to salads and garnish, I wanted to offer a spring side dish featuring both roots in all their flavorful glory.  Though both brassicas can easily be eaten raw, steaming them mellows their flavor and softens their crunch.  I have a variety of fresh herbs growing on my back porch and I simply pruned a few, chopped them and added them to the marinade, which leads me to believe most combinations would be excellent.  These spring root vegetables would go well with a leek galette and roasted green beans.
I used a combination of savory, basil, parsley and sage in the marinade, but any fresh herbs will work.

1 bunch or 8-10 radishes, trimmed and halved if large
1 bunch or 8-10 Japanese or baby turnips, trimmed and halved if large
1 tbsp red onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh herbs, finely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
1. Combine herbs, olive oil and red onion in a small bowl and set aside.  Meanwhile, steam the turnips and radishes until barely tender.  Once the vegetables are tender, remove from heat, place in a medium bowl and set aside.
2. After the vegetables have cooled slightly, pour the marinade over the vegetables and gently fold to thoroughly combine.  Marinate for at least one hour before serving.  
3. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve warm, room temperature or chilled.  
Serves 3-4

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