As we were putting our menu together with dinner with Zach's mom B, there was one item in our pantry that was giving us pause. We'd gotten a big batch of turnips from our CSA, and we wanted to feature them in our small-plates meal. But how? Steamed or sauteed turnips are great, but they wouldn't really fit with our tapas menu.
Then we were hit with divine inspiration: turnip chips!
And we were off! We would salt and bake the turnip slices, top it with a dollop of crème fraîche, and add a sprightly jolt of freshness with parsley and diced red onion.
The result? A great mix of flavors and textures that made for a scrumptious, sophisticated bite.
We started off by peeling the turnips and slicing them ultra-thin with our mandoline. For flavor, we were inspired by this recipe for Oven Fries with Coriander Seeds from the August 2008 issue of Bon Appétit. So we flavored the turnip slices with coriander, thyme and salt, laid them on cookie sheets, drizzled them with olive oil, and baked the slices until they were crisp.
Making crème fraîche is a snap: Just add a little sour cream to some regular heavy cream and let the mixture stand at room temperature for a few hours. The only other part of this dish -- parsley and red onion -- is a cinch to dice by hand or in a food processor.
What we came up with was a delicious morsel that combines the sweet, earthy, salty turnip chips with smooth, tangy cream and the zingy brightness of parsley and red onion.
And we'll never be stumped on what to do with turnips again!