Mention turnips and most people turn their nose at this often tough and bitter root vegetable. Turnips, or any vegetable for that matter, require certain growing conditions to turn them sweet, tender, and delicious. We found a grower who appreciates these sweet beauties as much as we do and takes the time to raise them just right. Heritage Prairie Farms grows turnips in the early spring and late fall. The cool weather produces sweet and juicy turnips. Pure white and crisp, Hakurei turnips are mildly flavored and best enjoyed raw (and straight from the soil as we did during our recent dinner at Heritage Farms).
At Big Bowl in Chicago this month, we are preparing Hakurei turnips in a fresh pickle with the farms organic carrots, fennel, and Klug Farms Honeycrisp apples. It’s a version of the Million Dollar Pickles our chefs prepared at this summer’s chef conference. We loved the winning combination of crunchy vegetables and sweet fruit with the light rice vinegar brine. Minnesota and Reston will also prepare the same recipe using locally sourced apples and vegetables. Million Dollar Pickles will be served along side Lion’s Head Meatballs, our version of the classic Chinese pork meatballs (more about them later).
Visit the store at Heritage Prairie Farm Store, or Green City Market, for a large selection of locally grown organic products including milk, cheese, honey, and of course Hakurei turnips. But hurry, they won’t be here for long.