Peas and Turnips with Dill Butter
I use dill butter to flavor fish and vegetables so often I guess you could call it one of my culinary signatures. I grow fresh dill in a window box outside the side door, away from the ocean, where I can see it from the dining area window. I also grow boxes of parsley, tarragon, thyme, basil, and rosemary in this protected place and it’s not unusual for me to get inspiration for a dish just by gazing at the profusion of herbs. I can’t have much of a garden on the island because of the deer, so I have become very content with the herbs. Herb-growing season was long over when I made this dish up one year for Thanksgiving, but I managed to get fresh dill in the market. Everyone decided they liked this as much as the more traditional mashed turnips I usually make.
Turnips are available in the freezer section packaged in 1¼-pound bags and cut into ½ inch cubes. If you prefer, use these instead of fresh.
Serves8 to 10
Total Timeunder 30 minutes
One Pot MealYes
Taste and Texturebuttery, herby, meaty, salty, smoky
Type of Dishvegetable
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 4 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 8 bacon slices, crumbled (optional)
- 1¼ pounds turnips, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes (about 4 cups) (see note)
- 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
- Two 16-ounce bags frozen petite peas thawed
In a small bowl, mix together 6 tablespoons of the butter and 3 tablespoons of the dill to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (The dill butter may be made 2 days ahead if covered and refrigerated.)
In a skillet, sauté the bacon, if using, over medium heat until brown and crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. Let the bacon cool to room temperature.
In a large nonstick skillet, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat. Add the turnips and sauté for about 9 minutes, or until tender and golden. If you find the turnips taste sharp, add a little sugar.
Add the peas and dill butter and cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes, or until the peas are heated through and the butter melts.
Stir in the bacon, if using. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl, garnish with the remaining tablespoon of dill, and serve.
2005 Linda and Martha Greenlaw