I love french fries. Love, love, love them. Crispy, crunchy, salty goodness. French fries are one of those foods though that people rarely agree on. Some people love their fries thick, with a crispy exterior and a creamy, smooth interior. Some love their fries shoe-string and crispy. Others want twice-fried fries, salted in between fryings, turning the fries dark, sometimes smoky, with a crispy exterior and salt crystals that melt on your tongue.
Even though the potato is the typical root vegetable one uses for french fries, you can turn just about any root vegetable into a fry. The other day we picked up some beautiful yellow and purple turnips from Nash’s. Per our usual shopping method, we had no idea what we were going to do with them. Someday we’ll get better at menu planning.
Since we still had plenty Sweet Potato and Lentil soup leftover for our main course, we experimented with cutting mostly uniform sizes of turnip sticks and made some oven baked turnip fries. The results were quite pleasing. Turnips have a slightly sweeter flavor than potatoes, with a hint of cabbage flavor. The larger ones can sometimes be a bit bitter, so either stick to the smaller ones or make sure you’re adding some other flavors to counteract any bitterness.
- 2 medium turnips, cut into equal sized sticks
- 3 Tbsp oil of your choice
- Seasonings (see notes)
- Preheat the oven to 400.
- Toss the turnip sticks in with the oil and seasonings.
- Lay the turnip sticks evenly spaced on a cookie sheet.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes, checking after 15 minutes.
The seasonings here really make the dish. We tried a few different seasonings and the one we liked the best so far was the Pico de Gallo from Zane and Zack’s. Their habanero sea salt worked very well too. However other seasoning options include: smoked paprika, any of Secret Stash Salt flavors, or for a sweeter alternative, some sugar. Your cooking time will vary depending on how large your sticks are. We had approximately 1/2 inch sticks and ours took about 20-25 minutes. Check for doneness by piercing the sticks with a fork. Once they pierce easily, you can remove them, or leave them 5 minutes longer for a crispier version. You certainly could fry these as well if you have the means, but we wanted a slightly healthier option for the other evening.
As far as taste, these were excellent. We didn’t peel the turnips, so the fries with the outer skins were the crunchiest. We also didn’t turn them, so one side was decidedly crispier than the rest, which made for a little pop with each bite. If you don’t season them with salt while cooking, crack some sea salt over the top before serving so you get a little melting crystal on your tonge with every stick. Next time we make these, I’ll use one turnip, one rutabaga, and one potato for the ultimate variety pack of fries.
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