Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Savory Mashed Root Vegetables: Thanksgiving in June

You've heard of Christmas in July? And if we back it up a month, we have… Thanksgiving in June! Seeing as the pros are busy testing Thanksgiving recipes now, I figure I wasn’t too far off base enjoying turkey and trimmings on the edge of summer.

Actually my menu was dictated by my fridge (and, not to be forgotten, my freezer). Along with lovely spring/summer produce like strawberries, peaches, spring onions, and sugar snap peas, my farm box people are continuing to offer produce that we’ve enjoyed through the winter: delicious collards, kale, and a variety of root vegetables.


Back in January, in a burst of practicality, I roasted a 28 pound turkey, using the same Tyler Florence method that I had enjoyed on Thanksgiving. It seemed reasonable at the time; we had enough for several meals and more than enough left over for the freezer, including an entire turkey breast. “I wonder,” I said to myself in January, “why don’t I cook a whole turkey more often than just for Thanksgiving?” Here’s one answer to that question – I will have so many leftovers that I will end up having a turkey dinner in April, and again in … June!


We had the perfect meal, if you ignore the little fact that the mercury outside was topping 87 degrees: turkey breast, homemade brown rice bread, Brazilian-style kale and collards, and mashed root vegetables. I realized too late that I could have thawed some turkey drippings and made gravy (like I did in April)... and it really would have been Thanksgiving in June! The only nod to the actual season? We had peach ice cream rather than pumpkin pie for dessert!


But let’s talk about the mashed root vegetables. Over the years I've done a fair amount of travel through Scotland, so I'm pretty familiar with mashed "neeps," or turnips. I like them pretty well, but they are usually a bit on the sweet side for me. When I saw Tyler Florence's recipe for Savory Mashed Root Vegetables I knew I had to try it. I loved the idea of boosting the savory quotient by infusing cream with fresh herbs before adding it to the mashed vegetables. An added bonus: I liked the idea of using Tyler’s mash recipe to accompany the turkey breast I had roasted using Tyler’s method.


n.o.e.’s notes:

- I made a half recipe, using the root vegetables that were in my fridge: large turnip, small beet, several yellow carrots, 2 small radishes.


- I increased the garlic cloves from 2 to 3.


--To reduce the richness of the recipe, I substituted some milk for cream. I also reduced the overall amount of liquid, so for half recipe, I used2.5 oz cream and 4 oz whole milk.


- I kept the same butter-to-liquid ratio as Tyler's recipe: (1T per 1/4 cup liquid), so that was 3 T butter in my case.


- For infusing the cream/milk, I used 1 sprig rosemary, 5 or 6 of thyme, and 1 or 2 of oregano, all from the herb garden. I cut through the pile a couple of times with a knife before putting it in the saucepan.

- My veggies took a little longer than 30 minutes of simmering before the were tender.

- Even though I reduced the amount of liquid, there was a bit too much; I had several tablespoons left over.

- My mash was still lumpy after mashing with my hand masher, and was separating, so I lightly ran the immersion blender through the mash.


the verdict:

I loved the way the savory herbs, the garlic, and seasoning transformed these simple roots into a delicious dish - a perfect accompaniment to roast turkey. I’m glad I included a bit of radish, as it added just a hint of a bite to the finished dish. The herb-infusion really added a wonderful depth of flavor, and kept the roots from being too sweet for my taste. The half recipe lasted us for 3 meals and it was delicious re-heated as leftovers! I can see myself ordering roots from my farm box just to make this recipe - it would be a great side dish for any meat or poultry main.


I'm submitting this to Tyler Florence Fridays, a weekly roundup of delicious food made from Tyler Florence recipes, natch! Stop by any Friday and see what the TFF bloggers are cooking up!

17 comments:

TeaLady said...

Sounds delicious.

Barbara said...

I adore root vegetables but I usually roast them with a little olive oil and salt and pepper. Never thought about mashing them after roasting- will try it. Thanks for the idea!

Jessica said...

I've always been intrigued by recipes like this that combine several different root vegetables. And, I think that Thanksgiving in June sounds wonderful!

Natashya said...

I am all for Thanksgiving in June. Bring on the turkey and veg! I love the herb flavoured rood veg puree, very nice!

finsmom said...

It is always a good time for Thanksgiving food! :)

Reeni♥ said...

Thanksgiving in June sounds wonderful!! Especially since it's cold and rainy here - I would love cozy up these herby mashers and turkey - yummmmm!!

Cathy said...

This looks so great! Like Barbara, I usually roast my non-potato root vegetables, but I loved mashed potatoes above just about all else, so I have no doubt that I'd enjoy root vegetables in their mashed form immensely. And Thanksgiving-y food is way too delicious to save for just once a year!

Kayte said...

I love root vegetables any time of the year and we are fortunate that we can usually get nice ones most of the year. Your combination sounds very nice, and I never think of using radishes...why is that? I use them in salads all the time, for little sandwiches, etc., but never think to put them in a mash. I will from now on, however, so thank you.

ARLENE said...

I love root vegetables. As others have noted, I generally roasted them. Love anything mashed, so will file this one away.

Michelle said...

We love root vegetables and I can't wait to try this one!

Jenny said...

You make turnip sound and look so good!

karen said...

your thanksgiving in june dinner sounds wonderful.

Audrey said...

I love root vegetables, so I'd love to try this. I've even been discovering the joys of turnips (well, that's an overstatement!)...but I do have a Martha S. recipe that combines them with other roots. But I have to say that I want to borrow that top picture and frame it...it's that beautiful!

(Btw, my word verification word is "scrumpl," which if you added an e at the end, is almost certainly another Scottish recipe, don't you think?)

Joanne said...

I am totally up for Thanksgiving in June. I always wonder why we only eat turkey on that one day of the year. I love the multiple colors in your mash. Looks good!

Debinhawaii said...

Thanksgiving works for me anytime! The puree looks so creamy and good too!

pinkstripes said...

Mashed root vegetables sounds wonderful. I'd love to try it one day. I don't think I've ever had a turnip or "neeps".

Pamela said...

Looks so comforting and delicious! I just got some root veggies in my CSA box today, and there's a turkey breast in my freezer. Hmmm....