No matter how full my pantry is, I’m a sucker for the kitchen aisle of discount stores like TJ Maxx and HomeGoods, the one lined with discounted one-off jars and bottles of preserves, mustards, oils and other goodies. I stock up when I find something interesting, knowing that an unexpected seasoning can unlock the potential of a simple ingredient by adding flavor with very little effort.
I was grateful for this habitual “hoarding” when I saw Hakurei turnips in my box. These turnips are so mild you can eat them unadorned, but, to make them more interesting, I coated thin slices with a drizzle of fruity olive oil and a dusting of truffle salt that I had from a previous shopping trip, and roasted them until they were golden and crispy around the edges. These “chips” can be added to salads for added texture and a flavor (that is, if you can stop yourself from snacking on them before there’s nothing left to add). You can also use truffle oil and sea salt or regular olive oil and sea salt.
Because the vegetables need to be sliced thinly for even baking, using a mandoline, a type of handheld slicer, or a very sharp knife is recommended. Oddly, even when uniformly sliced, the chips still cook at slightly different rates, so watch them carefully and remove chips sequentially when they are done, leaving the others to continue baking. I take them out when there’s a little chew left but you could cook them a little longer if you prefer a crispier chips. Just make sure to use a timer and be diligent; check every 3 to 5 minutes once they start browning. They can go from cooked to scorched quickly.
Roasted Turnip Chips With Truffle Salt
Hakurei turnips, sliced thinly (no more than 1/8-inch thick) Olive oil or truffle oil
Truffle salt, sea salt, or kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Brush a rimmed baking sheets lightly with oil. In a bowl, lightly drizzle the turnip slices with olive oil and gently toss until the slices are coated with oil. Arrange the turnip slices in a single layer on the baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and flip the chips. Reduce the heat to 300 degrees, rotate the position of the baking sheet and bake for 15 to 30 minutes. or until golden and browning around the edges, checking every 5 minutes and transferring chips that are done to a plate.
Keep a bit of the top of the turnip on to use as a “handle” when slicing to keep fingers extra safe.
Line your baking sheets with aluminum foil or parchment paper to speed clean up and prevent sticking.
Try the recipe with beets as well. Because beets are denser they might take a little longer to crisp up.
Watch out for “hot spots” in your oven and rotate the pan for even cooking.
While you’re perusing the kitchen aisles looking for yummy ingredients, pick up a mandoline if you don’t have one. It’s a piece of kitchen equipment worth having and it can often be found on sale.