Tag Archives: brassica

Fermented turnips

Continuing our series on the culinary delights of that most wonderful of plant families, the cabbages.

Paula Pongrac sends this recipe from Prekmurje, Slovenia – Slaughtered turnips. And just below is a photo from the region by Erik Kavaš.

Slaughtered turnips?

“No, I am not suggesting taking the biggest knife you have and attack the turnip! Rather I want to tell you about another delicious way to prepare turnip (especially in winter time as it is a real winter-warmer) and of when this dish was typically consumed in Prekmurje, eastern part of Slovenia.

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Mill on River Mura in Prekmurje, photograph by Erik Kavas

 

“The name may suggest that Slaughtered Turnip (“Bujta repa” in the Slovenian dialect of Prekmurje) was, and of course still is, a dish prepared when slaughter takes place (typically of pigs). It is essentially a stew with pork, fermented turnips and millet grain, but believe me, this is an experience to remember.

“Unfortunately, it is not easy to get hold of fermented turnips outside Slovenia, but there are some relatively easy recipes for home-fermentation of vegetables available on-line (search term “turnip kraut” yields good results, although the term is clearly wrong as it means “turnip cabbage”) or just decide on visiting Slovenia and have a taste.

“In case you get lucky and you get hold of all the ingredients, this is how you make Slaughtered Turnip.”

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Ingredients:

1 kg fermented turnip (grated), sometimes referred to as turnip kraut
1 kg pork bones with meat
150 g millet grain (proso millet)
1-2 tablespoons of oil
1-2 tablespoons of flour
One onion
3 garlic cloves
Salt
Red sweet paprika
Black pepper
2 bay leaves

How to make it:

Place the fermented turnip into a big pot with pieces of meat, add some ground and whole black peppers and bay leaves, and cover with cold water. Bring to boil and simmer for 30 – 60 minutes until turnip is tender and the meat is almost done. Then add washed millet grain and some extra water and cook until the millet is no longer crunchy.

For the roux, fry the sliced onion and garlic in oil until onion and garlic turn golden. Add the flour and stir for few seconds, then add some water, bring to boil and cook for 2 minutes. Add red paprika and extra water if needed to keep the roux smooth.

Just before finishing the turnip-meat-millet mixture, add the roux and bring everything to boil. Add salt to taste and serve with blood sausage or other meat, and bread.

For best experience, Slaughtered Turnip should be reheated at least twice.

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Field of gladiols in Prekmurje, photograph by Erik Kavas

 

Notes, Sources

Paula Pongrac, from Slovenia, is working at the James Hutton Institute in 2016/17.

The slaughtered turnip in the photograph was prepared for this article by family Barbarič from Prekmurje. With thanks.

Images of the turnip dish supplied by Zoran Kuzma.

Images of ‘Mill on river Mura in Prekmurje’ and ‘Field of gladiols in Prekmurje’ supplied by photographer Erik Kavaš.

The millet used in the recipe is dehulled proso millet, known as ‘proso groats’. Dehulling takes the protective covering off the grain to make it more edible in stews (as pearl barley).

Links on this site

Link to Paula’s other turnip recipe: Turnip strudel – a Croatian version

For the turnip’s close relative, the swede or neeps: SoScotchBonnet  and the painting Neep by by Jean Duncan;.

 

Sectioned II

Our artist friend, Jean Duncan has been trying out new techniques, getting inspiration and materials from the Living Field garden and from microscopic sections of roots. Jean writes about her depictions of brassica roots:

“The print is an etching made on a zinc plate by drawing with a needle into soft wax and then etching the lines in copper sulphate. Ink is rubbed in to the etched lines and then printed on wet paper.

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“My idea is to print root sections and plant drawings on to plant papers. I want to combine ancient techniques of papermaking with the latest microscopic images in a way that will highlight the plant’s diversity and engage people in how plants can enrich soils as well as provide food.

“For papermaking, the most successful fibres so far have come from maize stalks from the Living Field garden. These are chopped and simmered for several hours in soda ash to break down the fibres. The long fibres are then bashed further in a Hollander beater like a large grinder. Sheets of paper are then formed on a mould and stacked for printing or casting. Wet paper sheets can be pushed into plaster moulds of the plants and roots and when they dry the plant is embossed into the paper.

“So it’s a long process but I am currently working on a latex cast of a plant root and it’s been successful so far. It may even be useful to scientists as a way of preserving the fragile roots in a way that means they can be handled without being damaged.

Sources/contacts

Jean Duncan on this web site (with links): art/jean-duncan

The original microscopic cross section of a root was provided by Robert Baker of the Department of Botany, University of Wyoming http://www.robertlbaker.org and http://www.macromicroscopic.com

Here it is.

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And thank you for allowing us to use it on this site.

[More to follow from Jean’s experimenting ….]