Turn down for what? Not for these braised turnips. I’ve been a little exhausted with mushy vegetables, shriveled reminders of limpid freezer fries and wanted to make some vegetables with attitude, something “turnt to the ceiling.” With a quick braise in brandy, these root veggies get cooked just enough to be tender throughout, but also have some bite, both texturally and tastewise. Because even with the braising liquid, vegetables should still taste like vegetables. The scallions, tarragon, and vinegar add some sharpness, and this would go nicely with a fatty main course like grilled beef.
Braised Turnips with Scallions and Tarragon
1/2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 lb. white turnips, trimmed, peeled, and cut into rods
3 scallions, whites and greens cut on the bias
1/2 cup brandy
1/2 tsp brown mustard
1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon, plus more for garnish
1/2 tsp sherry vinegar
1 small shallot, diced
Heat a saute pan over medium heat for about a minute. Add the oil and swirl it around the pan. Heat for another minute. Add the scallion whites and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cook the scallion whites in the oil until aromatic, about two minutes. Add the scallion greens and cook all scallions until browned, about another four minutes. Remove from pan and reserve.
Increase pan to high and add turnips and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cook until all sides begin to color, about four minutes. Add the brandy and mustard. Stir to combine and “baste” the turnips with the liquid. Using a spoon, scoop liquid from the bottom of the pan and pouring it over the turnips. Add the chopped tarragon. Decrease heat and put a lid on the pan. Cook until the brandy has mostly evaporated, about six minutes.
Add the reserved scallions back to the pan and cook for about a minute, melding the flavors. Add the sherry vinegar and most of the shallot, keeping some for the final plating. Cook until flavors have blended and shallot is aromatic, about one minute. Garnish finished vegetables with reserved shallot and tarragon sprigs. Serve immediately.
All recipes and photography by Tommy Werner