Friday, May 27, 2011

japanese turnip, radish, and sausage sauté

above is the green garlic i got at the farmers' market. it was all gone by the time i made the sorrel eggs, but that was because i used the last of it in this surprisingly tasty dish, so it was worth it. i was surprised by how great the turnips and radishes were in this - i don't think i've had japanse turnips before and i am pretty sure i've never had cooked radishes, so it was an enlightening experience all around.

these are my japanse turnips. they are so pretty, with their creamy whiteness and their nice green leaves. you could use the leaves in this dish, but i didn't - i am going to saute them up tonight with baby mustard greens and some garlic. you could also use the radish greens, but i already put those in some pasta the other night, so no greens here. it was still good, don't worry.

i washed the radishes (a small bunch - probably like 8 or 9 of them. these were regular old radishes from safeway, but you could use any kind), the turnips, a few stalks of asparagus (i cut the bottom off and then peel 1/2 - 2/3 of it so it's more tender), the garlic (i used about 3 stems of garlic, but you could also use a couple of cloves of regular garlic and mince it), and some snap peas. it was getting dark, so this picture is not the best. imagine some peas in there too.

i sliced the radishes and turnips thinly - you can make them however thick you want, but the thinner they are, the faster they cook. again, you can use a mandoline for this, but i am still a little gunshy, so i used a knife. if you want more stability when cutting, you can cut them in half from stem to root, so that you have a flat surface to set it on. but i thought they were prettier in rounds and i am pretty confident in my cutting abilities (mandoline problem notwithstanding).

slice up the garlics and asparagus (the garlic i cut very thin, the asparagus in ~ 1 inch chunks). you can either leave the peas whole or slice them in half. i like them whole, myself.

put maybe a tablespoon of butter in a largeish saute pan over medium heat. i let the butter brown a little before adding the garlic, because brown butter is the best thing in the world. it will foam up and then the solids will sink and start getting toasty. it is ready for garlic when it starts smelling like pancakes from heaven.

let the garlic cook a little, maybe for 30 seconds or so. then add the turnips and radishes and let it all cook for a few minutes, til they start getting softened. this will depend on how thickly they are sliced - mine were thin and took about 3 minutes. then add some cut-up sausage of your choice - i used free-range chicken sausage that was hot and italian-flavored. it was great. i also put some red pepper flakes and salt in at this point. i would have put some freshly-ground black pepper in too, but we are out. lame.

a couple minutes later, add some chicken stock or a little water - i should do a separate thing about chicken stock sometime, but basically whenever i roast a chicken i make stock and freeze it in a muffin tin, then take the stock-muffins out and keep them in the freezer - it is handy, tasty, and economical!

then you can add the asparagus and peas and maybe cover it and let it all cook together for a couple of minutes. it really doesn't take long, though, especially since peas and asparagus are so tender right now. if the sausage you used wasn't already cooked (ours was), make sure that it is cooked through so you don't die or whatever. i also added a slip of cream, since we had it around from the sorrel eggs. it made it pretty over the top, but in a good way. but it would be perfectly delicious without it.

i added some cooked rice to this because we already had it, but it would also be good over pasta or like quinoa or with toast. it was very springy and fresh, but also rich-tasting and satisfying. perfect for dinner!

you could also easily make it vegan by using olive oil instead of butter and either not using sausage or using some other substitute (or something like chickpeas would be good for a little extra heft and protein). you could also have it be vegetarian and use the butter, lose the sausage, and put a fried or poached egg on top.


1 tablespoon butter

garlic - either a couple of cloves or 3 or so stalks of green garlic

1 bunch radishes

1 bunch japanese turnips (4-5)

5-6 stalks of asparagus

1 cup (or so) sugar snap peas

2 small sausages (can be omitted)

1/3 - 1/2 cup stock or water

1 little glug of cream if you have it (or greek yogurt would probably be good too)

rice/pasta/grain/toast, for serving

1 comment:

  1. I didn't know what to do with the turnips that arrived in my veggie box this morning.
    Now I do!