Keeping fresh, delicious winter produce for a nice change of pace in the summer months is easy as 1-2-3. In this case, Turnips. Turnips are high in fiber, riboflavin, and other nutrients like vitamins C, E, B6, folic, and pantothenic acids, as well as copper. Indeed they are a starchy food, as they are a ground root, but contain less than 1/3 the calories as an equal amount of potatoes. They are also a great source of potassium, thiamin, magnesium, and niacin. So, how do you keep a mess of fresh, tasty Turnip roots until next years winter garden begins putting them on the table? ( See Also Ann’s List )
Easy. “Rackem Up”! In the freezer that is. First, you clean, peel and slice them. Next blanch them to slow enzyme activity which normally ripens, or eventually decomposes food. The next step is to bag em, tag em, and pack em in the freezer. It is important to follow correct blanching procedures for each particular vegetable, of course, and the steps for perfectly blanching, and packing Turnip roots are as follows. If you plan to try the roasted turnip instructions while you are packing the rest into the freezer, start oven to pre-heat@ 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
After cleaning, and peeling your fresh turnip roots, slice them into the shape you will most likely be using them when you take them out of the freezer at a later time. For example, I am about to roast some of the ones I am not putting away for later, therefore, I am slicing them into wedges about 1 inch at the widest edge, down to nothing.
Next, bring a pot of water to a complete boil. Place turnips into boiling water and allow to come to a full boil again before starting the timing procedure of 2 minutes: Remove and place into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking procedure.
After turnips have cooled, pour into a colander, to allow to cool, and dry as much as possible. (unless you have one of those fancy spin dry colanders, then by all means spin away). Spread out flat on a paper towel and pat dry before bagging.
Bagging the turnips is as simple as placing them into a freezer safe bag, in whatever position you wish to find them when you retrieve them for cooking. For example, if you always puree your turnips, then piled together will be just fine.
However, if you love roasted turnips as I do, in a way similar to the way I’m about to roast, and describe, you will probably want to lay the freezer bag out flat, and the turnips respectively, as when they defrost, they will not all be stuck in one large wad of turnips.
If you have started the process, and the turnips are now sitting, drying in a colander, you may want to heat an oven safe sauté pan up with 2 tablespoons butter, 1 teaspoon paprika, a pinch of sea salt, and 1 tablespoon of Red-wine vinegar. A tablespoon full of sesame seed works well also, though, whatever your palate speaks to your mind as you are cooking will work, as you are the artist here. Melt butter, and stir paprika and other ingredients before adding (un-blanched) turnips, One layer across entire pan width, flipping, tossing, and sautéing at high heat for 3 minutes, or until well coated to the orange-ish color. Place pan into an already pre-heated 400 degree oven for 12-15 minutes.
!!!( Remember to use a pot holder to retrieve, and handle pan after placing into oven)!!!
Any cast or stainless, frying/sauté pan, or sautoir, is safe to use in the oven. All pans are safe up to 350°, yet, if the handle is plastic, or rubber, wrap handle with aluminum foil. Non-Stick pans not recommend
Serve immediately after removing from oven. If using previously frozen turnips for roasting, let completely defrost, spread out flat on towel and pat dry as good as possible before sautéing. ENJOY!!!