Bruleed Turnips and Leeks In Cream


Photo by Michael Piazza / Styled by Catrine Kelty

This is certainly the easiest of all turnip recipes: Thinly sliced roots are simmered in cream until meltingly tender before a quick blast under the broiler. A few leaves of marjoram and fresh thyme give the turnips a southern French flair, but feel free to use fresh oregano or sage instead. Any leftover gratin can be simmered with vegetable or chicken broth and blended for a quick and easy soup; top with fried bread cubes and a sprinkle of fresh herbs. 

Serves 4–6 as a side dish

2 pounds Macomber or purple-top turnips, peeled and very thinly sliced
1 fat leek, well-cleaned and thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, grated
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon fresh marjoram leaves
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1½ cups heavy cream
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat the broiler. Arrange the turnips, leeks, garlic, nutmeg and herbs in a saucepan and pour the cream over. Bring to a simmer and cover—allow to cook until very tender, 25–30 minutes. Remove the lid and simmer to reduce the liquid, 5 minutes more. Season with ½ teaspoon salt and some black pepper; taste, add more salt and pepper if needed.

Pour the turnips and cream into an ovenproof gratin serving dish and broil, watching carefully, about 2–3 minutes or until the cream begins to brown around the edges. Serve with more cracked pepper on top.

This recipe appeared in the Winter 2018 issue as part of a larger story on Turnips, Radishes & Rutabaga.