For this North Carolina cookbook, it had to be @foodwastefeast inspired, another NC chef after my own heart. I impulse bought some turnips and they sat patiently in the fridge for weeks, perking up every time i opened a new cookbook, then getting passed over. It was time for these turnips to get the love they deserved.
I discovered @chefandthef from her pbs show @achefslife which is absolutely wonderful and an ode to heritage foodways and family, especially her mother. Apparently the only thing her mom loved more than warm banana pudding was turnips, and since we had just made that dessert, this seemed a natural progression. The other inspiration was the incredible loaf of sourdough @qtopia gave us, all coming together for turnip root and green gratin. Fontina, parm, cream, garlic, carmelized onions, greens (i used sad beet tops) all baked into a bubbly cheesy dream.
This book is a love letter to Vivian’s hometown, Deep Run in eastern NC, where her parents were farmers. When her mother stopped planting a garden, she still grew turnips. I love that i could find a recipe celebrating this ingredient that doesnt have the sexiest reputation. If you are interested in farming, southern cuisine and culture, i highly recommend her show and this beautiful book.