Nothing compares to the rustic simplicity of Mashed Turnip and Carrots with Herb Butter. Comforting and wholesome ingredients, inexpensive and readily available, it will add a pop of colour to your plate and fill your belly with a mom-approved delicious side dish.
I love root vegetables; I really do! I love the fact that they’re available all year round, they’re inexpensive, they’re loaded with nutrients, and can take almost any seasonings and/or flavours you’re willing to throw at them. Mashed Turnip and Carrots with Herb Butter is probably one of the easiest side dishes you’ll ever make, and the really cool thing about this dish is everyone loves it!
Mashed turnip, carrot, and potato (not together) was always a staple when I was growing up. My mom would often prepare a dish consisting of mashed root vegetables and serve it as a side with roast chicken, pork, beef, or even moose. Yes, moose! If you haven’t tried it, you should!
In a working family, it was an easy way to get vegetables onto a dinner plate without much fuss. And, besides, who can say no to mashed vegetables? Sure, we’re all familiar with mashed potatoes, and for the most part, we all love mashed potatoes, but why not other root vegetables as well?
I’ve eaten this dish as a dinner guest on a few occasions, and have distinctly picked up on a sweetness above and beyond the natural sweetness of carrots and turnip. Many home cooks will often pair root vegetables such as carrots, turnips, sweet potatoes, or yams with a little brown sugar. If you want to add a tablespoon or so of brown sugar, you can certainly do so. It’s actually quite delicious, but for me, it tends to be a little too sweet.
When cooking simple vegetables with simple ingredients like this particular dish, I try not to over complicate things by adding lots of different items. I want to taste the turnip and the carrots; I want the turnip and the carrots to be just slightly infused with the herbs; and I want the turnip and carrots to have a smooth and silky texture which is easily achieved by the addition of good quality butter. (Please don’t use margarine!)
Serving this dish couldn’t be easier. I like to have a huge mound of it, and preferably have it smothered in gravy, but that’s not always necessary. On it’s own, just as it is, is more than fine as well.
I remember back to my childhood when my mom must have been feeling a little extra fancy or festive, and she would plate up the Mashed Turnip and Carrots with Herb Butter using her big ice cream scoop. Sitting right there beside a portion of chicken, with a little side of Preserved Mustard Pickles, were two perfectly molded mounds of Mashed Turnip and Carrots, and a pool of hot chicken gravy. Oh, I miss my mom’s cooking!
I could go on and on about how delicious this dish tastes and about how good it is for you, but I don’t think I have to do that. It’s a simple, rustic, home-style dish that tastes great, gets vegetables onto the table quickly and easily, costs next to nothing in terms of ingredients, and is loved by one and all.
Perfect for a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, but also, a great accompianment to any cool fall/winter evening family meal!
Mashed Turnip and Carrots with Herb Butter
- 1 large turnips, peeled and diced into 1 inch pieces (about 4 cups)
- 3 large carrots, peeled and chopped into 1 inch pieces (about 4 cups)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons green onion, finely chopped
Add the turnip and carrot to a large stock pot and add enough water to cover the vegetables. Add half a teaspoon of salt and, over medium-high heat, cook the vegetables until fork tender. This should take about 30 minutes. The carrot might be cooked a few minutes before the turnip, because turnip tends to be a harder vegetable, but don't worry about overcooking the carrot.
Drain the vegetables and add the other half teaspoon of salt, the pepper, butter, thyme, parsley, and green onion.
Using a masher, mash the turnip and carrot until the consistency of mashed potatoes. Lastly, stir the mixture together to ensure even distribution of the butter and herbs. Serve immediately.
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