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Fall Root Vegetables - Beets & Turnips

Cool weather is here and we turn the kitchen over to greens, roots & all kinds of seasonal dishes
The recipes below are for two vegetables that I often hear people say they don't like. Often, though, it seems like people have just had bad versions of many of the foods (especially vegetables) that they say they dislike. In a lot of traditional southern cooking foods are really cooked to death.
Turnips and greens are great examples. Many traditional recipes cook them down for so long they become a mush. And beets are either pickled or canned which can really detract from their great sweet flavor that can be turned towards the sweet or the savory - plus they are REALLY good for you!
Fall Veggies & Greens

Summer is the traditional time of year for most home vegetable gardeners I know and I've grown up with. I think most of us think about tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers and the like when we think gardening for food. But fall is a great time to grow great food as well! Many foods we love grow best in colder weather, so the menu might change, but fall is still a great time to fill your kitchen with homegrown goodies.


Beets, turnips, collards, cabbage, kale, onions, some varieties of beans and peas, carrots, parsnips and many others actually thrive in our cooler time of year!


Buttered Turnips in their Greens


This recipe is simple and brings out the great flavor of the turnips. Turnip greens are often cooked down like collards and other greens, which are far tougher. Turnip greens, as in this recipe, actually lend themselves quite well to recipes with short cooking times - think spinach. This recipe actually uses them in a similar way as spinach, but with the turnips cooked down with them.


3 or 4 turnips depending on size, with greens - diced into 1/2 inch pieces and greens coarsely chopped

1 Tablespoon of butter

1 Tablespoon of olive oil

1/4 cup chopped onions

2 cloves minced garlic

1/4 cup half & half or cream



Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat, add the olive oil once it's melted. Add the turnips and onions and cook for about 5 or 6 minutes, tossing or stirring frequently. Add the garlic and toss for another minute. Add the greens and continue to cook, stirring, for another 8 - 10 minutes. When you start, the greens will fill the pan, but will cook down quickly.

Add the cream midway through this last step. Salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Roasted Beet & Arugula Salad

Beets, to me, are best slow roasted. It deepens the sweetness, softens their natural crunchness, and the arugula adds a fresh element along with a spicy peppery flavor. If you don't like arugula you can substitute any softer lettuce or even spinach.



3 or 4 beets, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces.

1/2 pound fresh arugula

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper



Toss the beets (cut) in one of the tablespoons of olive oil, then place the beets in an oven safe saute pan or small baking sheet. Put them into the oven, preheated to 300 - 350 and allow to cook, tossing or stirring 2 - 3 times, for an hour.

Toss the arugula in the other tablespoon of olive oil, the vinegar, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Serve the beets over a bed of the lettuce mix - lightly salt over the finished dish


We also, sometimes, add a bit of goats milk cheese or bleu cheese if we have it.

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