AUTHOR: Julia TITLE: Garden Surprises DATE: 6/01/2009 12:12:00 AM ----- BODY:
As I pulled out my tape measure the other morning to thin some plants to precisely 5 inches apart, an onlooker might think I’m quite anal about tending to my vegetable garden. Perhaps. But in some ways I am also quite lazy. One thing I don’t do is label the plantings. I figure the vegetables will present themselves when they’re ready. While the initial sprouts of cucumber and zucchini look similar, the flowers and vegetables dispel any similarities. And since I have not reached the level of sophistication of watering or fertilizing plants on different schedules to suit the individual needs, I really see no point in taking the extra step to label the garden.

This year, I planted several new crops, including what I thought was going to be radishes. As the shoulders of the root began to push out above the surface of the dirt, I thought, “Perfect, ready to harvest.” So I began pulling up the first few, only to discover I had in fact planted turnips. Whoops! And being turnips, they still needed to grow a bit larger.

The turnip greens, however, can be cooked now. A search of the web yields recipes mostly for a southern style preparation with some form of pork product. As much as I love pork, I’m realizing that many of my favorite people don’t eat it, so I’m making a concerted effort to post more recipes without it.

Jody Adams
suggests a simple preparation: sautéing the greens in extra virgin olive oil with lots of garlic and chili flakes.

For a more substantial meal, I offer this recipe:

White Bean and Turnip Green Soup with Chicken Sausage
(a variation of Tuscan Kale Soup)

2 tbs. olive oil
1 onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped
½ celery stalk, coarsely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 cups cooked white beans
5 cups chicken broth, water or combination of the two
1 piece of parmigiano reggiano rind
1 sprig fresh thyme, chopped
½ tsp. Black pepper
1/2 pound smoked chicken sausage, sliced
1 carrot
1 pound turnip greens, coarsely chopped
2 tsp. salt

1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, celery and carrots, and cook until soft, about 4 or 5 minutes. Add beans, liquid, cheese rind, and thyme. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook uncovered for about 20 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, brown sausage in batches over medium heat.
3. Stir in turnip greens and sausage. Cook for 10 minutes or until greens are wilted and tender.
4. Add water, if necessary to thin soup. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

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----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Elra DATE:6/01/2009 01:10:00 AM Julia, this soup look so delicious! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types DATE:6/01/2009 08:49:00 AM I'm trying to find as many ways as possible to use as much of the edible greens I get from the CSA. I know it will lead to a range of creative meals! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous noble pig DATE:6/01/2009 02:50:00 PM I love turnips and could never have enough! Love the white bean addition too. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger trapezeboy DATE:6/04/2009 06:17:00 PM I just heard about this:

Sounds divine! ----- --------