Friday, March 2, 2012
Ham and Turnip Gratin
A couple weeks ago, my brother brought me a huge bag of turnips. As gardens tend to do, his coworker's garden had produced far more than they could possibly use. I knew that I wanted to try something different with them. I've used turnips this year in stews and salads and grown to like their flavor.
This was an entirely different approach, I expected it to taste more like a potato gratin, but turnips have a strong and distinct flavor all their own. If you already like turnips, you are going to love this dish. If you are undecided, I'll be honest and tell you that it could go either way for you. My family is split down the middle on this dish.
My oldest son, adored this and has already named it one of his "top most favorite meals ever." My husband liked it as well; commenting that the turnip flavor is different at first, but it grows on you. My middle son simply declared that he is not a fan of turnips. My youngest was unimpressed as well. So, take that for what it's worth. Me, I'm okay with letting my oldest have my portion of this dinner. I'll stick to my favorite Winter Salad to use the rest of the turnips.
Ham and Turnip Gratin
recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman
1 ham steak, about 10 ounces, diced into 1/2" cubes
3 large turnips, peeled and sliced very thin
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
approximately 1/2 cup cream
approximately 1/4 - 1/2 cup chicken broth
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large oven proof skillet, over medium high heat, warm the olive oil and then place a layer of turnip slices (slightly overlapping them) on the bottom of the skillet. Sprinkle with about 1/3 of the ham and garlic and drizzle with a bit of the chicken broth, cream, salt and pepper and then sprinkle with some of the cheese.
Repeat these steps a couple more times, leaving the pan on the hot stove throughout the process. By the time, you finish the layers, the pan should be bubbling. When the layers are done, top with any remaining cheese. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the cheese on top starts to turn golden brown. Enjoy!