Last week at the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market, my son picked out the cutest bunch of baby turnips from Camas Swale Farm. When trying to think of a pleasing turnip preparation for the eight and under crowd, I turned to Mollie Kaizen's children's cookbook classic Pretend Soup, source of our family's favorite popover recipe.
I remembered that Katzen had a recipe for carrot pennies, which I thought might work for baby turnips. On closer inspection, I realized this was a version of the Japanese cooking style of kinpira or sauté and simmer, as in this kinpira gobo, which produces an addictive sweet and salty syrup coating for the vegetables. This preparation proved to be just the thing to make turnips fun to eat for all ages.
Baby Turnip Pennies
adapted from Mollie Katzen’s Pretend Soup
1 bunch baby turnips
2 Tbsp butter
juice from 1/2 lemon
2 tsp sesame seeds
1 Tbsp brown sugar
generous pinch of salt
1/4 cup water
Trim the tops and tails from rinsed baby turnips and slice them into thin rounds. Place a skillet over medium heat and melt the butter. Add the turnips and a pinch of salt and toss to coat. Add the lemon juice, sesame seeds, and brown sugar and saute until the turnips start to soften and brown. Add the water and allow to cook down to a syrup. Serve warm.