TURNIP AND CARROT MATCHSTICKS
Delicate strips of fresh turnips and carrots steamed till tender-soft, then tossed in a fresh orange glaze!
2 c. matchstick size turnip strips, 1-1/2 inch long
2 c. matchstick size carrot strips, 1 x 1/2 inch long
3 T. margarine
1/2 c. fresh juice of orange, strained
To make turnip strips: Peel turnips, slice off ends. Place end side flat on cutting board, with opposite end facing up. Slice 1/4 – 5/8 inch of rounded side off, then proceed to slice turnip into 1/8 inch wide flat slices.
Stack 3-4 slices at a time on top of one another and slice lengthwise into 1/8 inch wide sticks. The length of the sticks will depend on the size of the turnip.
Measure out 2 cups, being careful not to break sticks; they will stand up over the top of the cup.
To make carrot strips: Peel carrots, cut off ends, then cut each carrot crosswise into 1-1/2 inch lengths. Discard shorter lengths or reserve for other use.
Take each segment and lay on its side. Slicing lengthwise, slice about 1/8 inch of the rounded part of the carrot off.
Now, slice remainder into 1/8 inch wide slabs/planks. Discard the opposite rounded end.
Stack slices on top of one another, a few at a time, and slice lengthwise into 1/8 inch wide sticks. Measure out 2 cups.
For both turnips and carrots use a sharp, broad, sturdy knife for best cutting results.
Now, get your steamer ready with boiling water. Place carrots in first, cover and steam for exactly 2 minutes.
Remove cover and place turnips on top of carrots. Cover and steam till tender-soft. Check frequently. You don’t want mush, but you don’t want hard either. When they’re done, the turnips will look like flowing ribbons and the carrots will be pliable, but will not break apart when lifted.
Immediately and gently remove vegetables from steamer and place into a large bowl. Salt lightly, no pepper, and set aside.
In medium skillet, over medium heat, melt margarine.
Add orange juice; raise heat to medium-high, and while stirring continuously, cook till liquid reduces to a thickened sauce, by about 1/2. Watch carefully that it does not brown, even in the slightest, nor completely evaporate.
Remove skillet from stove. Add turnips and carrots, and stir and fold very gently till well-coated. Do not break strips.
Return to stove and heat through. Remove from stove again, cover and let set for 5 minutes (no longer) before serving. Serve as a side dish vegetable.
Notes: These are a lot of instructions for a very simple dish, but learning to be an animal-free chef requires attention to these types of detail when preparing and cooking foods. I know you’ll love the results.
For the orange, I used a large navel orange. I once used prepared orange juice, and upon cooking it discovered that it tasted like vitamins, something juice companies add to their prepared juices, so since then I use only fresh squeezed, that I squeeze myself from the actual fruit.
Turnips are white root vegetables with purple colored ends; they are not rutabagas, which are an orange and purple colored root vegetable of the same family (sometimes referred to as Swedish turnip). The rutabaga is much stronger flavored than the turnip.
Be sure to cut turnips and carrots very narrow.