Fennel and Turnips a la Francias

By • March 21, 2013 • 0 Comments

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Author Notes: This recipe started life as a French 14th century turnip recipe I learned in the SCA (shout out Medrona!). I still make the original, but I reall love this variation. The fennel brings out some of the sweetness in the turnips and the greens bring a bit of “healthy” to good old fashioned peasant food.
This makes a phenominal side for a holiday roast but is just as good on a week day. If you don't eat meat, it would make a lovely and filling main dish over some cooked whole grains and serve 4.
fatgirleating

Serves 6-8

  • 1 bunch turnip greens, washed and torn into mediumish pieces
  • 1 bulb fennel
  • 4-5 purple top (or chosen variety) turnips, peeled and quartered
  • 3 tablespoons butter (or more if you're feeling daring)
  • 2 tablespoons grainy, country style mustard (dijon prefered)
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. in a pot of lightly salted water, boil the turnips until knife tender.
  2. while the turnips boil, cut off the root and frond of the fennel bulb. save the fronds for another thing. cut in half vertically, then into 1/8-1/4 inch half-moons.
  3. when the turnips are done, drain them and set them aside to cool until you can handle them.
  4. into the hot pot, with the burner off, put the butter, greens, mustard, nutmeg and fennel
  5. slice the turnips into 1/4 inch slices and add to the pot.
  6. toss evereything to coat. the residual heat from the turnips and the pot will wilt the delicate turnip greens and cook the fennel just a little bit while keeping it crunchy. taste for salt and, if desired pepper.
  7. the original french recipie is just the turnips, butter, mustard, nutmeg and salt for anyone who wants to eat really good, really old food.
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