ITEM OF THE WEEK : Macomber Turnips

We may call Macomber Turnips "turnips," but they are actually a cross between two other root vegetables: a radish and a rutabaga. Huge like a rutabaga and spicy like a radish, they have a creamy, white flesh and an unusual sweetness. Brothers Adin and Elihu Macomber --  farmers and tinkerers, and fans of the turnip as an hearty, reliable and inexpensive crop -- first developed the vegetable in Massachusetts in the late 1800s. In the Northeast, Macomber turnips grow throughout the summer and fall, and last well in cold storage over the wintertime.
   

 Tips
* To store, keep in the fridge drawer in a loose plastic bag. Stored this way, Macomber turnips can last up to four months. (At harvest-time, turnips often come often with greens, which are edible, but always remove leaves from root vegetables so that they do not draw moisture from the bulb.)
*To prepare, scrub well and peel. You can then steam (30 minutes for 1-inch chunks), boil (20 minutes for 1-inch chunks), bake (45 minutes at 400 degrees), or mash (try combining with potatoes). Macomber turnips are also delicious raw.

 
 

 

RECIPE of the month: 

 Curried Turnips

You may think of Macomber Turnips as a plain winter vegetable, but they have a nice combination of sweetness and spice. Spice ‘em up a little more with this recipe!

Ingredients:
* 2 T. olive oil
* 1 large onion, thinly sliced
* 1/2 tsp. fresh ginger, grated
* 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
* 1 T. curry powder
* 1 tsp. each ground cumin, coriander, and whole mustard seeds
* 1/2 tsp. turmeric
* 2 cups fresh turnips, peeled and diced
* 1 14-oz. can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
* 2/3 cup water
* 1/2 tsp. brown sugar
* 1 tsp. salt
* 1/2 cup firmly packed fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped

Directions:
1. Heat oil in a heavy-bottom pot on medium heat. Saute onions until golden.
2. Add the ginger and garlic, stir 2 minutes more, and then add the spices, stirring well to cook.
3. Stir in the turnips, tomatoes, water, sugar and salt. Cover and bring to a simmer for 10 minutes.
4. Add fresh cilantro and taste. Serve.
 
-- Thanks to Just Food for the turnip tips, and Community Cook Louise Noel for the recipe! For more recipes, check out the Corbin Hill blog and Facebook page.