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Down in the Root Cellar: Carrots and Turnips

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Turnips are cheap and bitter. Carrots are annoyingly sweet. But before you allow the unpleasant characteristics of these root vegetables to summon disturbing memories of your relatives, consider how brilliantly they balance each other out. Pair the bitter turnips with the saccharine carrots and you get a wonderfully complex marriage of flavors and a hearty, inexpensive winter dish.

Mashing the roots up with a generous amount of butter or bacon grease makes them a lot more interesting. Some folks crumble bacon over top. I like to serve the orange mess with grilled sausage-- a variation on British bangers and mash.

Carrot and Turnips

The idea is to boil equal amounts of carrots and turnips together, so vary the amounts to suit your needs.

One pound carrots One pound turnips Half a stick of butter Salt and pepper to taste

Peel the carrots and turnips and chop the into half inch pieces. Cover with water in a soup pot, add a little salt, and place over high heat. Boil for a half an hour or more until the vegetables are extremely tender. Drain in the pot leaving a little water behind. Add the butter, salt and pepper and mash with a potato masher to the consistency of chunky mashed potatoes. Serve immediately.

Yield about 8 cups

-Robb Walsh

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