Simple pleasures

Turnip for the Books

I had a couple of packets of baby turnips in the fridge. I always struggle with them, as in, what is their point? I’ve always thought of them as a bulbous, soft crunch of flavourlesness. A little like eating a toasted tennis ball.

To give them a chance, I threw some of my favourite flavours at them, knowing that whatever I did would be an improvement. It’s hard to improve upon slowly caramelised onions, and the thought of draping them over the turnips once they had been roasted in some chilli oil was enough to get the oven on first thing this morning.

Three quarters of an hour later and I had a delicious mid-morning snack with enough chilli punch in it to finally get the day going after having survived my children’s joint birthday party with no fatalities and I think all children safely returned. We may yet find one or two in the bushes.

So turnips are safe, for now. This would make a splendid accompaniment to spatchcocked, grilled tandoori-spiced chicken or roast coriander and cumin slow-roast lamb shoulder. Now there’s an idea for next weekend.

A few packs of baby turnips
2tbsp chilli oil
1tbsp chilli flakes
1/2 white onion
1/2tsp ground coriander
1/2tsp ground cumin
1/2tsp ground turmeric
1tsp ghee or vegetable oil
Salt and pepper to season

Heat the oven to 180c and roast the turnips, drizzled with the chilli oil for about 45 minutes.
While they are cooking, finely slice the onion and slowly sauté in the ghee with the spices and a little seasoning. Cook slowly until they are golden and starting to ever so slightly caramelise.
Spoon over the turnips, drizzle with a little more chilli oil and scatter with chilli flakes.
Serve immediately, being careful to not burn your tongue on the onions like I did.

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