Mint is one of those ingredients I fall in love with again and again, then promptly forget all about. When mint appeared in our fridge last week, I wasted no time in making one of my favorite salad dressings of all time, and could hardly wait to finally try a recipe for “Turnips with Tomatoes and Mint,” from the Featherstone Farm Cookbook. I even made a special request for turnips or rutabega from the store, especially when I saw our sparse box of veggies would not get us very far through the week.
Definitely worth the wait and a little extra fuss! Perfect alongside some whole wheat couscous cooked with a sprinkle of allspice and caraway and a handful of raisins. I have made a couple small modifications in the recipe below. Despite cutting the slices thin and letting the stew simmer for an hour, I found some pieces of rutabega were still a bit crunchy. I suspect rutabega is like potatoes, needing to be fully immersed in liquid in order to cook. Therefore, I’ve recommended keeping the stew covered until the rutabega is mostly tender, and only then tilt the lid and let most of the liquid cook off. I’ve also suggested waiting to add the mint until later in the process, and perhaps garnishing with a little more at the end to preserve the perky taste and color of fresh mint.
Even as it was, it was pretty tasty… I expect I will be returning to this recipe again soon, especially if we end up with a bumper crop of turnips like last season!
Tomato Mint Rutabega Stew
1 can diced tomatoes (or 1-2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes when in season)
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger (or a few generous sprinkles ground)
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
A few generous sprinkles turmeric and coriander
2 medium rutabegas or turnips (about 2 1/2 pounds), quartered and cut into slices
1 cup water
1 can garbanzos, or equivalent cooked
3-5 stalks fresh mint, chopped
Sauté fresh tomatoes for a few minutes in a little oil until they begin to break down — if using diced tomatoes, you can skip this step. Add seasonings and simmer for a few more minutes to form a thick sauce. Stir in turnips and water, cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer gently for 20-30 minutes, or until tender. Add garbanzos and mint, reserving a small amount for garnish, then simmer an additional 10-20 minutes, with the lid tilted, until much of the liquid has cooked off and vegetables are fully tender. Let cool a few minutes, garnish with reserved mint, and enjoy!