Turnip seems like the nerdy outcast of the vegetable world. It is the wallflower at senior prom. It’s the shy kid who seems really boring and whom everyone ignores. You have your very first conversation with turnip at your graduation party and you realize how cool it actually is. Suddenly you feel guilty and a little sad you sat next to turnip in English Literature for an entire year and never got to know it.
Fortunately vegetables are actually not like former high school classmates. There is still plenty of time for you to get to know turnip and appreciate its subtle yet flavorful qualities. The Shaved Turnip Salad is a great way to get introduced.
Turnip’s flavor is a bit like cabbage mixed with radish and its texture resembles raw beet. Shaving the turnip into very thin rounds with a sharp knife or mandolin helps balance the texture. We added some shaved Parmesan cheese for a savory complement to the pungent, slightly sweet turnip. For greens we chose some red leaf lettuce and a little arugula for its nutty flavor. Finally, we tossed everything in a simple red wine vinaigrette.
This Shaved Turnip Salad is tangy, nutty, savory, and…turnipy. In a good way, such a good way.
The alternating layers of turnip and cheese in this Shaved Turnip Salad are not only a perfect flavor harmony, they look beautiful too. It’s as if that nerdy kid from high school put on a leather jacket and transformed into Luke Perry from Beverly Hills 90210.
Get creative with your greens and cheese. Chopped chard or spinach would be acceptable substitutes, as would Pecorino for the cheese (just reduce the salt in the dressing or simply add to taste at the end).
The Shaved Turnip Salad is nice and light, wonderful for a first course or side. It would pair well with a fancy grilled cheese or a cream soup.