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Turnip Turn On
by Carol Ann Kates

            My husband sauntered into the kitchen with one question on his mind.  "What's for dinner?"  I responded, "Steak and Caesar salad."  He smiled with approval.  "And roasted turnips."  His nose turned up in distaste. 

            He's much too polite not to try everything I make for him, so he spooned a small helping of turnips onto his plate.  He ate his steak and salad and then with much effort took a bite of turnips.  With surprise, he muttered, "Mmm.  Say, these are good." 

            If you are like my husband and haven't developed a fondness for turnips, give this recipe a try.  It won him over. 

            Oven-Roasted Turnips and Asparagus
Serves 4

1 head garlic
Salt to taste
Large grind black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil

Preheat the oven to375 degrees.  Cut one-third off top end of garlic head, exposing cloves.  Place garlic on a 6-inch square piece of aluminum foil, season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil.  Wrap garlic with foil and bake in the oven for 45 minutes.  When garlic is roasted, remove cloves from head and set aside.  Cool, separate cloves, and peel. 

2 pounds turnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 ¼ pound asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces
4 shallots, peeled and cut into quarters
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon large grind black pepper

In an ovenproof casserole dish, place turnips, asparagus, and shallots.  Drizzle vegetables with olive oil and sprinkle with rosemary, salt, and pepper.  Roast, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Add garlic and roast for another 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender and evenly browned.

            Selection:  Turnips should feel heavy for their size.  Look for smooth, firm, unblemished skin and fresh green leaves.  Do not buy turnips that are larger than 3 inches in diameter because they may be woody.  Small, young turnips have a more delicate, slightly sweet taste. 

            Storing:  Although turnips will keep for 1 week when placed in plastic andrefrigerated, they keep best in a cool (55 degrees), well-ventilated area like a root cellar



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