Caramelized Japanese Turnips with Radicchio, Pine Nuts, & Pomegranates


Caramelized Japanese Turnips with Radicchio, Pine Nuts, & Pomegranates

Ever stumble across vegetables at the market or in your CSA that you want to try, but aren’t sure what to do with them? For me, it’s root vegetables like radishes and turnips. I’ll occasionally slice them thinly and put them in salads raw, but I set a goal to find ways that showcase them and add a bit more flare.
They key: caramelization. While normally that is through roasting, here I did a sauté-steam method. Sauteeing gets the turnips nicely browned, while steaming makes them nice and tender. My last trick: steaming with pomegranate juice rather than water. The natural sweetness of the juice mellows out the bitterness of the turnip and helps it caramelize even more.

Pair these turnips with some bitter radicchio, buttery pine nuts, and sweet pomegranates for a salad that is totally different from the norm. So try out something new and let me know what you think!

Caramelized Japanese Turnips with Radicchio, Pine Nuts, & Pomegranates

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

  • 1 bunch japanese turnips, cut into quarters or diced largely

  • 1 head radicchio, sliced thinly

  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds

To toast pine nuts: Preheat oven to 375. Place pine nuts on a baking sheet (with no oil). Bake at 375 until golden, about 7-9 minutes. I like to do this in a big batch so you can use them for multiple recipes.

Heat a medium to large cast iron pan over medium heat. Add in olive oil (it should be enough to generously coat the bottom of the pan) and the garlic. Once garlic is browning, add in turnips. Saute, stirring occasionally, until the outsides begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Add in the pomegranate juice and cover the pan (it should begin to bubble and steam). Keep covered and steam until pomegranate juice has evaporated and turnips are tender, about five minutes.

I like to serve this warm, so as soon as the turnips are done, let them sit aside for just a few minutes until they are warm, but not heat. Toss in a large bowl with radicchio, pine nuts, and pomegranate seeds. Season with sea salt. I found that the glaze and oil from the turnips helped dress the radicchio, but if you find it dry, toss in a teaspoon of olive oil.

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