Tim Lammers, a delightful anchorman at Fox News in Hartford, was very skeptical when I told him we were making mashed potatoes with turnips for the show last week. Turnips, as vegetables go, are not very pretty in their raw form, and many people put in them in the same category as Brussels sprouts (which we will be making later in the week as well!) He was surprised and delighted at just how delicious the potatoes tasted. As a bonus, we also prepared a roasted pear puree, which adds a lovely sweetness to mashed potatoes and cut the richness of the Thanksgiving meal. Here are all the recipes we made.
Question of the day: What are your favorite Thanksgiving side dishes?
Mashed Potatoes and Turnips with Roasted Pear Puree
- 1/8 cup honey
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
- 4 ripe bosc pears, peeled, quartered, cored
- 1 basic mashed potato recipe (see below)
- 1 pound turnips peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine honey, lemon juice, melted butter and pears in medium size bowl. Toss to coat evenly.
- Season with salt and pepper and place pear mixture in a baking dish so that all the fruit is in one layer.
- Roast pears for 30 minutes and then toss the pears in the juices.
- Continue roasting for about 30 minutes until the pears are very tender (this will vary depending on how ripe the pears are).
- Transfer pears with liquid to a food processor and puree until smooth or puree directly in the dish with an immersion blender. Set aside. (Pear puree can actually be made up to 2 days ahead).
- In the meantime, prepare basic mashed potato recipe. (See next recipe)
- Place turnips in a separate pot of salted boiling water until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain.
- Puree turnips until smooth and combine with mashed potatoes.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Re-warm pear puree and serve together by placing the potato mixture in a serving bowl and swirling in the pear puree. Alternatively, serve separately, and let your guests determine how much puree they would like.
Basic Mashed Potatoes
- 4 pounds russet potatoes peeled
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon or more of salt
- 1 cup whole milk
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- Cut the potatoes into quarters or eighths, depending on their size. You want to make sure the potatoes are the same size so they cook evenly.
- Place the potatoes in cold water, bring to a boil, and then salt the water (the water should taste like the ocean in order for the potatoes to be properly seasoned). (Water should always be salted once the water is boiling. Otherwise, the salt will sink to the bottom and stick to the bottom of the pot.) Lower the temperature to a simmer and cook until a fork easily goes through the potatoes, about 20-30 minutes depending on the size of the potatoes.
- Drain the potatoes in a colander and “dry mash” without the milk or butter for 2 minutes over a low flame.
- Add the butter and gently mix into the potatoes without mashing (you don’t want to over mash the potatoes or they will be gluey).
- Combine the milk and cream in a small saucepan and warm milk.
- Gradually add warm milk and cream to the pot and mix thoroughly.
- Add pepper and additional salt to taste. Mash potatoes until smooth or coarse, your preference.