Wowsers! I found this gem of a recipe tucked in a mystifying cookbook called Roots: The Definitive Compendium with more than 225 Recipes. This treasure is brimming with roots of all shapes, colors and sizes; many of which would require a trip to the most ethnic market in town, or an excuse to hightail it to somewhere exotic. However, I tousled the pages with a keen eye on one root for which there has been no shortage this year in our weekly farm-fresh CSA box: turnips. I can only roast and saute this locally abundant winter vegetable so many times before shaking my hands with despair at the ever-growing stash in our refrigerator. One particular turnip culprit was hogging all the space, and so, it was time to get creative!
This recipe is like magic. It shows that the secret ingredient to the well-known baba ganoush is not in fact the eggplant. It's impossible since this dip is uncannily identical in flavor, with an ever-so-slight but wholly welcome hint of turnip. Perhaps it's the pureed dates or the combination of parsley, yogurt, garlic and tahini. Or the pleasant harmony of the whole choir! Needless to say, this recipe is an easy must for the Superbowl snacking to come tomorrow night! This recipe was ever so slightly altered to my taste buds. I wouldn't stray again from this result!
- 8 cups 1-inch cubed turnips
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup pitted dates
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt, whole or low-fat
- 1/3 cup roasted tahini
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon finely minced flat-leaf parsley, plus some for garnish
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- pita bread
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- Position the oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Spread the cubed turnip on a baking sheet and toss it with the 2 tablespoons of olive oil, using your hands to coat the turnips. Roast for 30-40 minutes until they brown. Remove them from the oven and let them rest on the baking sheet to cool for about 10 minutes.
- While the turnips are roasting, combine the dates and water in a small saucepan and bring the water to a boil. Reduce the water to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes until they have softened and the peels loosen. Transfer the dates to a food processor or blender and puree the dates. Measure 1/3 cup of the puree for the ganoush, and store the remaining puree in a jar. (It will keep for up to 1 month in the refrigerator and is divine spread on toast or served with cheese).
- Transfer the turnips, 1/3 cup date puree, yogurt, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper to a food processor or blender. Process until smooth and creamy. Transfer to a jar or container, cover and refrigerate while you prepare the pita chips.
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Cut however many pita you like into eighths to create smaller triangle-shaped chips. Brush the pita chips with olive oil and lay them on a baking sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes, until they brown and curl up at the edges. (For thinner, crispier chips, separate the pita in half and repeat the process; you will likely need to cut the baking time in half).