Here we go again, back into the cellar for dinner. And what do I find down there but carrots intent on sprouting. Last summer I grew two sorts: Mokum, a relatively short-seasoned carrot, and Bolero, more suitable for keeping. I had so many Mokum, though, that I ended up putting some in the cellar. They are nearly gone, and a good thing, because they are sending out chartreuse-colored, ferny leaves like mad. So is Bolero, but only half-heartedly.
Meanwhile, still in the ground out in the hoop house are some charming white turnips named Hakurei who are crisp, tender and ready to eat.
Obviously, I could boil them or roast them, mix them with other root vegetables, or eat them alone. My friend Toby did a nice saute of turnips for Christmas dinner, tossing in at the last minute the shredded tops.
Delicious. Or we can eat them raw.
That’s what we did for dinner the other night: shredded carrot and turnip slaw, topped by a Toby-made horseradish dressing. Very good. Left to my own devices I’d never think of horseradish in salad dressing, but it was wonderful. Maybe you’ll enjoy it, too.
I used my food processor to grate the vegetables, because I really like having fairly coarse shreds for this salad. If I grate the vegetables on my box grater they come out a tad mushy.
Maybe it is time for a new grater, and maybe, if you have a sharp one, you can hold your carrot or turnip firmly against the cutters and end up with a nice solid shred. Suit yourself.
For my salad I like a bit more carrot than turnip. Again, suit yourself. The dressing recipe makes a scant cupful, enough in this house for six servings, though Toby reminds us, “The flavor will decrease with salad volume.” In other words, for maximum flavor drink the dressing straight from the container. Just kidding. Don’t skimp on the horseradish.
Turnips, rutabagas or white
Shred the carrots and the turnips in a proportion to taste. Put into a bowl. Just before serving dribble on the dressing and toss.
Makes about one cup
¼ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup cider or white wine vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons grated horseradish
Salt and pepper to taste
Using a miniblender or whisk, blend the mayonnaise, vinegar, and oil, then add garlic, horseradish and salt and pepper.
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