People either love turnips or they hate them. And if they love them, it was probably an acquired taste. I can still remember making a face when thinking I was biting into a yummy potato in one of my mother’s stews I had speared a turnip instead. Yet this dish is another proof point that almost all things taste better with butter and cream.
We have used older, larger turnips for this recipe. Older turnips are stronger in flavor, more bitter, and drier than young turnips. If you use younger, smaller turnips, they may be sweeter and a bit more watery, so you might want to use less cream. If the turnips are too bitter for your taste, try adding a little sugar at the end to balance the bitter.
- 3 pounds turnips
- 6 black peppercorns
- 6 whole cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus 1 teaspoon
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
- Freshly grated nutmeg to taste
1 Peel and cut the turnips into large chunks. In a large saucepan of boiling water, add the tablespoon of salt, the peppercorns, cloves and bay leaves. You may want to tie the spices into a sachet or cheesecloth bag — this makes it easier to remove them later. Boil turnips until tender, 15 to 20 minutes, then drain and remove the spices.
2 Return the turnips to the pot they boiled in and add the cream. Turn the burner to medium-low. Bring this to a gentle simmer and mash the turnips with a potato masher. Add the white pepper, the teaspoon of salt and freshly grated nutmeg to taste and serve at once.