Braised Turnips with Crème Fraîche & Arugula Pesto

Braised Turnips with Crème Fraîche & Arugula Pesto

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From: EatingWell Magazine, November/December 2016

Larger turnips or those that have been stored for a while can have a bitter aftertaste. A bit of sugar fixes that in this healthy vegetable recipe, but if you have small, young turnips, you can omit the sugar. This recipe makes about 1 cup of arugula pesto; use the extra as a spread on sandwiches or to dress up any roasted vegetable, pasta dish or soup.

Ingredients 8 servings

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Original recipe yields 8 servings
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  • Turnips
  • 3 pounds turnips, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Ground pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons crème fraîche
  • Arugula Pesto
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • 2 cups packed arugula
  • ½ cup grated Pecorino cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice


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  1. To prepare turnips: Position a rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 425°F. Place a large rimmed baking sheet in the oven while it heats.
  2. Cut turnips into quarters (if medium) or eighths (if large). Toss with butter, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Spread the turnips on the hot baking sheet in a single layer, with a cut side down.
  3. Roast the turnips in the lower third of the oven until starting to brown on the bottom, about 20 minutes. Turn them over so the other cut side is down. Sprinkle with sugar and add water to the pan. Carefully cover with foil. Continue roasting until very tender, about 20 minutes more.
  4. To prepare pesto: Toast pine nuts in a small dry skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a food processor. Add arugula, cheese, garlic, oil and lemon juice; process until pureed.
  5. Toss the turnips in a bowl with 1 teaspoon of the pesto. To serve, spread creme fraiche and 1 tablespoon pesto on a serving platter. (Save the remaining pesto for another use.) Spoon the turnips on top. Season with more pepper to taste.
  • To make ahead: Refrigerate pesto (Step 4) for up to 2 weeks.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: ⅔ cup each
  • Per serving: 96 calories; 6 g fat(3 g sat); 3 g fiber; 10 g carbohydrates; 2 g protein; 21 mcg folate; 11 mg cholesterol; 6 g sugars; 1 g added sugars; 99 IU vitamin A; 29 mg vitamin C; 51 mg calcium; 0 mg iron; 247 mg sodium; 271 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (48% daily value)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: ½
  • Exchanges: 2 vegetable, 1 fat

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