Apples have an affinity with many root vegetables, befitting their seasonal camaraderie. This is especially true with turnips. In this recipe, turnips are double-teamed with apple cider (or juice) and apples for a slightly sweet side dish that will lighten up many of the heartier meals we tend to make during the winter months. Other roots are good here, as would be cabbage, but try it first with turnips. In this recipe I advocate pouring off the bacon fat and using butter or vegetable oil because I found that the bacon fat flavor was too strong. However, keep it and forgo the butter or oil.
3 c peeled, cut into wedges (1″ thick or so)
4 – 5 slices bacon, optional (but adds that bacon thing)
2 T butter or vegetable oil
1 c apple cider or juice
2 t sugar
salt and pepper, to taste
1 1/2 c (peeled), cored, sliced apples
1/2 dried sage or 2 T chopped, fresh sage
1. Cook bacon in a skillet until just crisp. Remove skillet from heat and transfer bacon to a plate lined with paper towels. Chop or crumble when drained. Set aside.
2. Pour off the bacon fat, reserving for another use. If you like, you can wipe out the skillet before proceeding. Melt the butter or heat the oil and add the turnip wedges. Stir to coat with the butter. Add the cider, sugar, and some salt. Bring to a simmer, partially cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the turnips are just shy of being tender. A knife tip will encounter a little resistance when piercing a wedge.
3. Stir in the apples and sage and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has reduced to a glaze, 3 – 4 minutes or so. By now the turnips should be soft, the apple slices a little crisp still. Stir in the crumble or chopped bacon and some pepper and serve.