Baby turnips are tender and sweet. Here they are complemented by the delicate flavor of garlic scapes, lemon, and thyme and punctuated with the earthy, saltiness of anchovy butter and Pecorino. If you have leftover anchovy butter, it's great on grilled steak or roasted cauliflower.
Sautéed Turnips with Anchovy-Thyme Butter and Pecorino
For the anchovy butter
- 4 oz. (8 Tbs.) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 anchovies, minced
- 1 Tbs. finely chopped preserved lemon
- 1 small clove garlic, finely grated
- 3/4 tsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves
- Sea salt
For the turnips
- 2 bunches baby turnips with greens, (about 1 ½ lbs.), cut into ½-inch wedges, keeping the greens intact
- 4 garlic scapes, cut into 1/4-inch long pieces
- Fine sea salt
- 1 Tbs. finely grated lemon zest
- 2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
- 3/4 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano
- Small edible flowers for garnish, optional
Make the anchovy butter
- Put the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat on medium-high speed until soft and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and 1/4 tsp. salt and mix on medium speed until combined, scraping down the side of the bowl as needed, about 1 minute. Wrap tightly in plastic and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Make the turnips
- In a large straight-sided skillet, melt 6 Tbs. of the anchovy butter over medium heat. Add the turnips in batches, cooking the greens, tossing them occasionally with tongs, until they wilt before adding more. If the pan begins to look dry, add more anchovy butter. When all of the turnips are in the skillet and the greens are wilted, add the garlic scapes and 3/4 tsp. salt. Cook, tossing occasionally until the scapes begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, cover and continue to cook, tossing occasionally, until the turnips are tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, and toss with the lemon zest and thyme. Adjust seasoning to taste.
- Transfer to a large platter, top with the grated cheese, and garnish with the flowers, if using.