I’ve been staring down a drawer full of turnips for weeks now. I don’t love them on their own, but luckily for me, they do well paired with other flavors. This recipe also happens to be the sort of fall comfort food I need this month after losing my dad.Grief does strange things to your appetite. I find that I’m fine for awhile, then I have no appetite at all and feel I might actually be sick. Some days I just want to drink coffee. Other days I’m all about comfort food. I’m trying to keep exercising and trying to eat something nutritious every day because I need to be strong to care for my mom.I found this recipe while searching for something to do with turnips and buttermilk. Don’t you love the internet for that sort of thing? I landed on Angie’s blog, and this recipe, originally from Southern Living, seemed the right one for me to adapt. It’s comfort food for sure – potatoes, buttermilk, bacon – but at least it’s fruit and vegetables I’m eating instead of a bag of potato chips followed by M&Ms. (Yep, that’s what I had one night last week.)One of the things that intrigued me when I found this recipe was the addition of apples to a traditional mashed turnip and potato recipe. The apples are sauteed in some olive oil and butter with thyme while the potatoes and turnips are simmering, then everything is mashed together.I find turnips a bit stringy, and actually had trouble mashing everything together, so I used my stick blender with a few quick tiny pulses to get it broken down a bit. Don’t over do it with the stick blender or a mixer or you’ll end up with a gluey mess. Also, turnips are more watering than potatoes, so drain well before proceeding to mash everything together. We’re having this tonight with pork chops – now doesn’t that sound comforting?
- 1 pound turnips, peeled and cubed
- 1 pound potatoes, (any starchy variety, peeled and cubed
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 3 gala apples, peeled and diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoon butter
- ½ cup lowfat buttermilk
- Fresh thyme leaves, to taste
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Crumbled bacon or pancetta, to taste (optional)
- Cover the turnips and potatoes with cold water and bring to a boil. Cook until tender, about 10 minutes. While turnips and potatoes cook, heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat and saute apples until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute, just until garlic is fragrant but not burned.
- Drain the potatoes and turnips and combine with apple mixture and butter in a large bowl. Gently mashin and add the buttermilk, stirring until creamy. Season with fresh thyme and salt and pepper to taste and pour into a casserole dish to serve. Top with crumbled bacon or pancetta. For a vegetarian version, omit bacon and top with thyme leaves for garnish.
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