I discovered this week that turnips have an amazing shelf life. Our last CSA pick-up was about a month ago, and when I opened the vegetable drawer, there were still some turnips leftover. Usually I would simply try to mask the turnips, cooking them and turning them into a puree like mashed potatoes. Or even easier is to just cook them and add them to mashed potatoes. No thought or recipe required.
The recipe for turnip casserole is basically no recipe at all. I’m sure the real bacon part of it would require some attention, but the fake stuff makes it fairly simple. I used tempeh bacon, as I haven’t made any bacon-esque seitan lately. And quite honestly, I love the tempeh bacon that Lightlife makes – it even comes presliced! If you can’t find this at your local store, you could easily make a marinade for plain tempeh (or tofu), using paprika, brown sugar, soy sauce, chili powder, apple cider vinegar, and some liquid smoke.
I served this as is, without anything else for dinner. The amazing thing is that the turnips aren’t as filling as a potato, so neither of us felt overly stuffed afterwards. The tempeh bacon adds just enough smokiness (well, the liquid smoke helps with that too!) and flavor that it feels like something richer than a two ingredient meal. If you have another root vegetable, like rutabaga or yellow turnip, you can easily substitute those in this recipe. I actually used half of a yellow turnip that we had leftover along with the others.
I am confident that after one go with this recipe, you’ll start to think of turnips in a new way, I know I have!
- 2.5lb turnips
- 3Tb Earth Balance (or your favorite vegan butter)
- 2/3c onion, diced (approx 1.5 small onions)
- 8oz tempeh bacon
- 2Tb liquid smoke
- 1Tb flour
- 1/4c vegetable stock
- 1/4tsp sugar
- 1/4tsp sage
- 1/2tsp paprika
- Salt & Pepper to taste
Start by peeling and dicing your turnips into quarter-sized pieces. Add to a pot of salted boiling water, enough to cover all of the turnips. Let cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and drain.
In a large, deep skillet (approx. 2in deep or more) melt the butter over medium heat. Add the diced onion and allow to cook for 5 minutes, without browning. Chop the tempeh into small pieces and add to the onion. Mix thoroughly. Add the liquid smoke. Mix the flour in, evenly. Allow to cook slowly for 2-3 minutes.
Blend in the vegetable stock and seasonings (salt, pepper, sage, paprika, and sugar). Add the turnips and water. Mix thoroughly and allow to simmer slowly until the sauce has thickened, approx. 20 to 30 minutes. If the sauce is still to liquidy at this point, raise the heat and allow to boil for several minutes until it has thickened.
If your turnips are undercooked, as mine were, simply add a little extra water and allow it to cook down for a few more minutes. Season to taste and serve.