As for butter versus margarine, I trust cows more than chemists. ~Joan Gussow

B is for Brunch

On Sunday, Andy and I whipped up a magnificent brunch! I apologize that I only have photos of the finished product; with so many things going on in the kitchen, it was difficult to find time to take the step by step pictures.

The menu included:

Spring Turnip Frittata

Apple-Fennel Salad

Blueberry Muffins

Cardamom Cookies

Freshly Squeezed Grapefruit + Champagne to drink

I purchased the turnips from the SFC farmers’ market last Wednesday. I find that fresh turnips from the garden or farmers’ mkt are the best–they are sweet and not bitter like many that you encounter in the grocery store. I harvested the fennel from my garden on Sunday morning.

I have not been eating turnips and fennel for very long. In fact, I bet it’s been under two years. I didn’t grow up eating these two vegetables, but as soon as I tasted them, I knew I had been missing out. Soon enough, it will become too warm, so take advantage and eat lots of these guys before they are gone for the season!

(* indicates that that particular ingredient was added/substituted to/for the original recipe)

Fennel in my garden

Spring Turnip Frittata

(Notes: Recipe is from Eating Well Magazine.  We made 1.5 times the recipe. The frittata will keep a few days in the fridge, so I’m a big fan of making extra.)


  • 1 cup broccoli florets*
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3 1/2 cups shredded peeled turnips
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 shallot*
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup Gruyere cheese*


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add broccoli and boil for about 5-7 minutes. Drain.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the turnips, onion and salt. Spread and pat the mixture into an even layer; cook, without stirring, for 2 minutes. Then stir the mixture and scrape up any browned bits. Add the garlic. Pat the mixture back into an even layer and continue cooking, without stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir again, spread back into an even layer and cook until mostly golden brown, 2 to 4 minutes more. Transfer to a plate. Wash and dry the pan.
  4. Whisk eggs, egg whites and milk in a medium bowl. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the pan over medium heat. Add the egg mixture and cook, stirring briefly, until beginning to set, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Spoon the turnip mixture evenly over the eggs. Top with cheese, then the broccoli.
  5. Transfer the pan to the oven. Bake the frittata until set, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand 5 minutes. To release the frittata from the pan, run a flexible rubber spatula along the edges then underneath, until you can slide it out onto a cutting board or serving plate. Cut into wedges and serve.

Spring Turnip Frittata

Apple Fennel Salad

Andy first made this salad for me, accompanied by Pea and Shrimp Risotto. Ever since, it has been one of our favorites.


  • Juice from 2 or 3 lemons
  • Zest from 2 lemons + a tad more for garnish
  • 2 Granny Smith apples
  • 2 bulbs fennel
  • 1/2 large fennel frond
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese

(1) Thinly slice and chop apples and fennel bulbs. Chop one large fennel frond. Mix together.

(2) Add lemon juice and zest.

(3) Grate fresh Parmesan cheese on top and add zest for garnish.

Apple Fennel Salad
Blueberry [and Lemon Zest*] Muffins

I hadn’t eaten homemade blueberry muffins in who knows how long. We ended up buying dried blueberries in the bulk section of the store and then re-hydrating them in warm water over night. You could also use fresh or frozen ones. The recipe is from The Fannie Farmer Cookbook. I always double muffin recipes so I can freeze the left-overs for a quick breakfast during the week.
  • 3/4 cup white flour
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour*
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 melted butter
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • Zest of one lemon*
  • Juice of one lemon*
(1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line muffin tins with muffin cups.
(2) Mix the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in large bowl.
(3)Add the egg, milk, butter, zest, lemon juice and blueberries, stirring only enough to dampen the flour; the batter should not be smooth.
(4)Spoon into the muffin cups, 2/3 full.
(5) Bake for 20 – 25 minutes.

Blueberry + Lemon Zest Muffins

Cardamom Cookies

My co-worker brought these to a staff potluck a few weeks ago and I loved them. Little did I know I had the cookbook from which they hail–Deborah Madison’s Cooking Vegetarian for Everyone. Cardamom is fairly unique to most Americans; I definitely didn’t grow up using it. But like fennel and turnips, the more I use it, the more I like it!


  • 1/2 cup butter (unsalted)
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar (plus extra for the tops)
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 3/8 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cups flour


(1) Cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, then beat in the egg yolk.

(2) Stir in the cardamom, salt and flour.

(3)  Divide the dough in two roughly shape each piece into a log about 1 inch think, then roll in plastic wrap or wax paper. Pull each log through your thumband first finger to make it even and, if you prefer, longer and narrower. Refriderate until firm or freeze until ready to use.

(4) Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut the dough into 1/4 inch rounds or diagonals and set them on cookie sheets at least 1 inch apart. Bake until pale golden on top and lightly browned around the edges, 8 to 10 minutes. Cool. Serve plain or dusted with confectioners’ sugar.

Cardamom Cookies


7 responses

  1. Damn! Hope you had some company to help you eat all that 🙂
    Hey, a farmer friend of mine slices turnips real thin and spreads a little bit of peanut butter, or honey, or any kind of spread on them…he eats them like a cracker. sounds good right? i’m hoping to try it when mine are ready.

    March 1, 2011 at 4:44 am

    • Yes, we were cooking for 5 and even had left-overs. Yummy. I love brunch 🙂

      And raw turnips are fantastic–especially when they are homegrown. When will yours be ready?

      March 1, 2011 at 4:56 am

      • April. I’m cutting it close…oh well. Guess I’m just so addicted to mashing or roasting them, I haven’t even thought about snacking on them. Mashed turnips with roasted chestnuts…almost makes me wish it was January again.

        March 1, 2011 at 5:09 am

      • That sound delightful! I’ve never cooked with chestnuts….

        March 1, 2011 at 5:12 am

  2. Susan

    what a spread! I’ve never done shredded turnips in a fritatta like that. I’ve got some left in the fridge – think I will be trying the fritatta and making some whole wheat blueberry muffins this week. Yum!

    March 1, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    • Let me know how it turns out. All 5 of us agreed that the turnip frittata was fantastic!

      March 1, 2011 at 3:52 pm

  3. Pingback: Roasted Beets + Salmon Salad (w homemade mayo) « joyfulinthekitchengarden

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