Turnips. Spinach. Not the average things most people think to when looking to make something rich, delectable, and satisfying. But when treated with care (along with a knob of butter and some good salt), these would-be plebs of the food world can transform into something just as decadent as that truffled pâté you had the other night, and perhaps even more memorable.
Like many dishes, this is a case of fresh, flavourful ingredients being all you need. Small, pristine hakurei salad turnips, sweet and crunchy, halved, with the tops left on; the smaller, tender leaves from the top of a lacinato kale plant; fresh sage; and the buds of the malabar spinach plant, an intriguing vine that always incites questions on the farm.
Method? Couldn’t be easier. Melt some butter in a pan. Toss in the malabar spinach buds on high heat…then the turnips and sage…season generously with coarse sea salt…finish with the kale…cook until the buds are tender, the turnips are seared nicely, the sage is fragrant, and the kale wilted.
Deglaze with a splash of apple cider vinegar for some brightness and some sheen. Serve and indulge.
A perfect example of something stupendous just coming together from what was kicking around in the fridge. Thank you Yale Farm for providing such delicious, inspiring ingredients, all the time.
These malabar spinach buds really are something. Raw, they carry this great pop and crunch, which stays when cooked but mellows and allows even more tender, grassy flavour to come through. The turnips proved an exceptional partner-in-crime, their sweetness intensifying with a little sear in the pan, and their slight sharpness bolstered by the vinegar. Kale for some extra substance and textural contrast – and sage? Well, as I always say, you can never go wrong with fried sage.
I toasted some whole wheat oat bread from market, and topped with tahini and big piles of these veggies, it was a pretty remarkable, and filling, weekday lunch.
The esteemed last morsel: