- 20 minutes
- For 4 people
- 0.6 € / person
During the month of January, turnip greens usually ripen, the most tender bunch of that plant that appears at the time of flowering or “grelar” (to put seed). The turnip is cut from the plant by hand and its bunches are tied with wicker or straw. They are stored scattered in a cool place without light until cooking time, thus preserving the most peculiar aromas fresh. Now in February we are already on the final stretch of consumption of this vegetable, its appearance in March is a green tone with some yellow tones, which do not detract from its flavor, on the contrary, it is at its optimum moment, its color has nothing to see with its taste.
For this recipe you can use fresh or canned turnip greens. Little by little between the specialized stores of Galician products and the internet it is easier to get them. I leave you with a great cream with all the flavor of Galicia , easy to digest, smooth on the palate, with all its properties: source of beta-carotenes, folates, calcium, iron and vitamin C. And if you do not find them naturally, you can do with they canned. A recipe that can be the base of many of your most elaborate dishes or a daily recipe full of health.
The great Álvaro Cunqueiro already told us in the book “Escola de menciñeiros” that turnip greens in the mouth are something perfect and complex in flavor, a gourmet vegetable for the most exquisite palates, Galician or not.
“The turnip greens can be cooked whole, if after being cooked and drained well, they are going to add a garlic, something very common in the country. But there is a better recipe that is also used: turnip greens are cut with the stems -which the strings were stripped and peeled- and cooked. In a frying pan, add lard – or, if you like, oil – and brown garlic. When the garlic is golden brown, put the turnip greens in the pan and stir until they suck all the butter or oil. They are served very hot and can be accompanied by fried eggs ”.
Don Álvaro finished off this recipe advising us that “if they are turnip greens at the end of the season, and they are already a little bitter and turn the teeth of the fork yellow, a piece of fried bread is dipped in the yolk of the egg, and then it goes into the mouth something perfect and complex of flavor ” .
Preparation of turnip greens
- You have the same way as with chickpeas two options. Buy them fresh and cook them or choose a trusted and quality brand from the many that you can find in large stores or supermarkets throughout Spain. They are normally collected after the strong frosts in January, which makes them more tender and less acidic, although in areas such as A Ribeira Sacra you can find them until well into February, a great ingredient from the Entroido era.
- For the first option we must put a casserole with plenty of salted water (to taste) and a pinch of bicarbonate (the point of the knife) this will help to set the color of the turnip greens, this trick is valid for other vegetables such as spinach or chard. When it starts to boil, cook them for five to ten minutes.
- Refresh in cold water, drain well and reserve. In this cream it is not necessary to cook the vegetables too much, as they will then cook for a few more minutes. In the case of the lacón con grelos it is different, you will see how they maintain all their color, giving it freshness and its characteristic flavor. I remind you that its intense green and fibrous leaves are a great ally of a healthy kitchen due to its high content of water and fiber, carbohydrates, proteins and very low in calories.
- The second option is to buy them already cooked, you can get them in almost any supermarket and if you have the opportunity to visit Galicia, they sell you turnip greens in any town or market, they are very easy to get.
Preparation of the cream:
- Once we have the turnip greens cooking, cut the onion and leek into a thin julienne, and sauté everything in a saucepan over medium heat with three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Peel and chop the potatoes into small cubes, the smaller the better, so they are passed before and we add them to the casserole with the whole milk. Let it heat and when it starts to boil add some cheese, these will leave the mash very creamy.
- We let it cook until it begins to bubble, which is about to boil but does not start, and when we see that the potatoes begin to undo we add the already cooked turnip greens that we have reserved. We continue cooking everything together for about 10 minutes. We test if it is well of salt and rectify if necessary, I like to add black pepper.
- Crush with the blender and pass through a puree if you do not like to find fiber, I prefer only with the blender. Easy, right? Well, we already have our turnip cream.
We can eat this cream like this (it is delicious) but it also serves as the base for some more elaborate dish.
- For example, the crispy ham goes very well as an accompaniment, for this we only have to cut the ham into thin slices and pass it through the micro for one minute, checking the crisp every 30 seconds so as not to overdo it. We break it into crumbs and sprinkle over the cream. Even as Rubén has done with a piece of toasted or fried bread (it will be delicious and will add some calories to the cream).
- If you have some prawns or a good piece of monkfish, it will go with pearls if you prepare them round and round on the grill. You can cover a deep plate with a tablespoon of cream and the seafood on top. Many ideas, but especially yours, imagination to power!
I tell you that Susana Pereira, to whom I anticipated the recipe, has already tried it and her words have been: “The mashed turnip was simply spectacular for me, the cheeses are scary for turnip greens and the potato too, being a little bitter it seems that way they soften a little. Terrific !! Thanks a lot. As I was saying I am addicted to purees and creams, if you have original recipes of this type I will receive them with open arms. ”