What to do with a GIANT turnip?


Following a lovely weekend at the coast in Castine, Maine, we returned home with what I believe is the largest turnip that I have ever seen.  Let’s face it, turnips can be a tough sell, but Lollie and I were up to the challenge.  Ultimately, we decided it would be pickled.  Of course, I turned to my favorite Quick Pickles and found not one but three turnip pickle recipes.

Pickled Turnips with Fennel, adapted from Quick Pickles
Yield – 8 cups

2 lbs. peeled turnips
1 fennel bulb with fronds
1/2 cup pink peppercorns
1 Tbsp. kosher salt
1 Tbsp. allspice berries
1 tsp. whole cloves
1 Tbsp. fennel seed
3 bay leaves
1 cup sugar
3 cups white wine vinegar (or rice wine vinegar)
1 1/2 cups white grape juice

Cut each turnip into bite-sized pieces up to 1/2 inch thick.  Remove the feathery fronds from the fennel and set aside.  Cut the fennel bulb in half and then cut 1/4 inch slices.  In a large non-reactive bowl, toss the fennel and turnips with the pink peppercorns.  If desired, divide them between smaller containers.

Add the salt, allspice, cloves, fennel seed, bay leaves, sugar, vinegar and grape juice to a non-reactive saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium high heat.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for three minutes.  Pour hot brine over the vegetables.  Allow to cool to room temperature; add the fronds back to the pickles.  Refrigerate for up to 6 weeks.

These turnip pickles are great served alongside grilled meats, especially lamb.
They can also be included as part of an antipasto plate with
nuts, olives and cheeses.

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