Season: Baby turnips are best in June and July; winter turnips, all year.
In early June, I love seeing the first young bunches of carrots, and the same goes for turnips – so pretty, about the size of golf balls, with deep-purple tinges to their creamy-white flesh and topped with frilly leaves. In winter, they're less tender and can be steamed and mashed to a purée with an equal amount of steamed potatoes, with the addition of a little cream and butter. I love them sliced wafer-thin in Cornish pasties and roasted as a vegetable.
To prepare turnips: use a potato peeler to peel it in precisely the same way as a potato, but slicing off the root end first with a knife. Then just cut the turnip into suitably sized chunks or slices.
To cook baby turnips: dice 1 lb (450 g) of peeled turnips into ¾ inch (2 cm) cubes. Steam them for 3 minutes, sprinkled with a little salt, then sauté in melted butter , tossing them around for about 10 minutes, until tender. This quantity of turnips will serve 4 people.
I find Cornish pasties often have too much pastry and not enough filling. However, the traditional filling of steak, potato and turnip is so delicious I now make one big pie using this filling – which is also a lot quicker than making individual past
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