Puree of Turnip with Crispy Shallots

Edited to add:  When I initially posted this recipe, the nutritional information read that it had over 50 grams of carbohydrate per serving.  Since not all of my recipes are low carb, I didn’t think much of it until Beloved pointed out there was no way this could be true.  It turns out my recipe software was calculating the carb counts for the shallots in a really wonky way.  I’ve adjusted the recipe to reflect the true amounts, and it now comes in at just over 10 grams of carbs with nearly 2 grams of fiber per serving, definitely putting it in the low carb category. 

Okay, before you all start groaning over the title of this recipe, let me just say this:  It’s GOOD.  I was, in fact, surprised at how good it was.

You know, it’s funny – I had no intention of cooking anything that took any trouble last night, so I threw some bottom round steak into a skillet and braised it in a mixture of beef stock and my Maple Barbecue Sauce (which also came out quite well).  Then I had several vegetables that were going to be fit for nothing but compost if I didn’t use them right away, so I sauteed some asparagus, broccolini and tatsoi in a little olive oil with some chopped prosciutto.  All of this just called out for mashed potatoes or steamed rice, but I wasn’t going there.  Then I remembered the turnips in the refrigerator.

I’ll be quite honest – this is an adaptation of an Ina Gartner recipe that called for rutabagas.  Her recipe also included vegetable oil, whole milk and butter so I’ve substituted all of these ingredients to make it suitable for my diet, and while I wouldn’t suggest you use vegetable oil for anything, you can use the milk and butter to make the puree if you like.  I also added an entire cup of liquid, which made the puree thinner than I would have liked (although it was still delicious), so I’ve reduced it to 2/3 cup total in the written recipe – if you wish an even thicker puree, you can reduce it to half a cup.

And whatever you do, make the shallots.  I cannot stress that enough:  make the shallots.  They reminded me of those crispy onions you get in the can that are used for green bean casserole, but far more tasty.  (I’m thrilled that I can put a version of green bean casserole back on the holiday menu this year and not have to worry about the onions being coated in flour.)  It’s really worth the half hour that it takes to fry them properly.

I just cannot wait to have the leftovers for lunch today.

Puree of Turnip with Crispy Shallots

Puree of Turnip with Crispy Shallots

serves 6

4 medium shallots, peeled and very thinly sliced
1 cup tallow, lard or other cooking fat suitable for frying
5 medium turnips, peeled and cut into large pieces (about 2 1/2 pounds)
1/3 cup coconut milk or heavy cream
1/3 cup water
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Heat the tallow or lard in a saucepan over medium-low heat until it reaches 220 F. Reduce the heat to low, add the shallots, and cook until they are a rich golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes (the temperature should stay below 260 F). Stir the shallots occasionally to make sure they brown evenly. Remove them from the fat with a slotted spoon, drain well, and spread out to cool on paper towels. Reserve 4 tablespoons of the fat.

Place the turnips in a saucepan with water to cover and 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, until easily pierced by a paring knife, about 20 minutes. Drain. In a separate saucepan, heat the coconut milk, water and reserved fat over low heat until the fat has melted and the liquid just begins to simmer.

Puree the turnips in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. With the motor running, add the coconut milk mixture in a steady stream. The turnips should be smooth.

Return the puree to the saucepan and reheat, stirring frequently, over medium heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve hot, generously sprinkled with the crispy shallots.

Nutrition (per serving): 221 calories, 19.9g total fat, 18.6mg cholesterol, 72.4mg sodium, 285mg potassium, 10.1g carbohydrates, 1.8g fiber, 3.9g sugar, 1.6g protein.

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9 thoughts on “Puree of Turnip with Crispy Shallots”

  1. This is a nice way to pass off those pesky turnips to the little ones as well. Unfortunately, my son isn’t into mashed potatoes either (he eats more a paleo-style diet with a LOT of candy, maple syrup, and other kid stuff thrown in – but at least he has the meat part down!)
    I have a serious love for the crispy shallots. They are quite common in Asian cuisine, and indeed, you can go to an Asian supermarket and find jars of them on display. Unfortunately they are cooked in the “better” fats – but they were traditionally cooked in lard. (Beef are considered pack animals over there, so you don’t see a lot of beef used there…) Mmm… pork. Sorry there, got ahead of myself!
    I was shocked to see the carb count on this dish. I guess because it is a root vegetable, it is a bit higher there. I looked it up, and a medium turnip carries around 12 grams of carbs. Ouch!

  2. Oh man, I LOVE turnips! I guess it’s a Texas thing. I remember Mama buying bunches of turnips and their greens from a roadside stand, and cooking them all up together. Of course, she cooked the greens with a big hunk of pork in them. Yum. I bet I could WW this a little, by switching the cream to something wimpier and using olive oil or something.

  3. SK – What a great idea! Turnip Soup! It really was delicious but that could make it better!

    But yeah, I agree with Jason, it’s a bit carby – diabetics and weight watchers shouldn’t over-indulge with this one. Believe me, that is HARD to do – we ate it up!

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