Making it Work: Turnips

5 meals, one main ingredient: turnips, from Farm Fresh to You. Most of the heavy lifting took place Sunday night. Here’s how it went down:

Sunday: made a half portion of Risotto with Turnips and Bacon while cooking remaining pack of bacon in the oven; simultaneously made Peas and Turnips with Bacon and Dill Butter (minus the dill); experimented with soup made from turnip greens (no good)

Monday: made turkey meatballs with fresh squeezed orange juice, breadcrumbs and egg; served with peas side dish

Tuesday: had peas side dish for lunch; BLTs for dinner with leftover bacon

Thursday: made spinach fettuccine to go with leftover meatballs and homemade cream sauce – half a stick of butter, one giant spoonful of risotto, parmesan cheese and lowfat milk all cooked to a simmer in a saucepan.

Who knew turnips could be such an adventure?!

Playing with Chards

Red chard and spring onions from @FarmFreshtoYou + @Epicurious risotto recipe = easy, healthy Sunday dinner. Tonight I made a quick Red Chard Risotto recipe from Epicurious (originally submitted to @BonAppetitMag by Sandra Rudloff of neighboring Los Altos in 1996). I’m still not an overwhelming fan of Swiss chard, but the buttery flavor and texture of the risotto neutralized the somewhat bitter red chard leaves, and also resulted in a curious pink color. Combined with a spinach salad, we filled up on vitamin and mineral-packed veggies, after a gluttonous weekend of steakhouse dinners and poolside drinks. (More to come on that!)


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Menu by Twitter

Surplus of spinach + @BHGFood tweet re: risotto = 2010 dinner planning. This morning I came across “Spinach-Pea Risotto” on Tweetdeck, courtesy of Better Homes & Gardens and it fit the bill: I had an abundance of nearly expired spinach and carrots in the fridge, Arborio rice and garlic in the cupboard, and frozen peas and homemade vegetable broth in the freezer. So minus a couple of ingredients (namely green onions, radishes and tarragon), we enjoyed risotto alongside turkey meatballs for dinner tonight.

Note: don’t leave the burner on after you add the final veggies and cheese to the cooked risotto. Turn it to low to keep it warm until served (or serve immediately as BH&G suggests). I ended up with a burnt pot but saved dinner in time!

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My First Risotto

Butternut squash + risotto + beginner’s luck = success! I’ve never attempted risotto, but I came across tempting recipes on Epicurious while exploring dinner options for Capay‘s recent surplus of butternut squash. Since I didn’t have enough leeks for Risotto with Butternut Squash and Leeks, and I went with Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto, which was healthy to boot! At just over 300 calories per main dish serving, it was the perfect dinner to kick off lighter eating in 2010 and offered a surprisingly buttery flavor.


A couple of notes on how I modified the recipe, which originally appeared in now defunct Gourmet Magazine in November 2001:

  • I didn’t include garlic, because I didn’t have any – but would recommend it if you do
  • Rather than saving 6 slices of butternut squash for serving, I mixed all but 2 slices in the risotto. As a result, the squash was definitely the dominant ingredient; so next time I would hold back 4 slices from the mixture (and use for something else later). That way the rice will be more balanced.
  • I used less arugula than the recipe called for, and another Epicurious reviewer didn’t use any at all (I also agreed with her decision not to serve slices off butternut squash on the side, which explains why the squash was so dominant – above).
  • I had only 4 tablespoons of parmesan, even though the recipe calls for 5. I’d go with 5 and sprinkle a little extra on top when serving.

The recipe serves 6 main dish servings – and it earned unanimous thumbs up in my house!

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