holidays & recipes: kale with coriander sauce and poppy turnips

Kale and Turnips

Continuing with our menu for the ancient holiday dinner we present to you the side dishes, which are unique, flavorful and make a pleasing presentation. The first is kale with coriander sauce and the second is poppy turnips. Both recipes are found in The Philosopher’s Kitchen by Francine Segan.

Cato the Elder, a Roman statesman, wrote a book called On Agriculture. Cato wrote: “Of the medicinal value of the cabbage: It is the cabbage which surpasses all other vegetables. It promotes digestion marvelously…Dislocations will be healed quickly if they are bathed twice a day in warm water and a cabbage poultice is applied…Cabbage can be used as a poultice on all kinds of wounds and swellings… If you wish to drink deep at a banquet and to enjoy your dinner, eat as much raw cabbage as you wish…it will make you feel as if you had not dined, and you can drink as much as you please.

Our first side dish is kale with coriander sauce. Kale is a member of the cabbage family so we think Cato would approve of its addition to the menu. With its dark green leaves kale retains its color beautifully as long as you do not overcook it. If it is overcooked it will look dark and have hints of purple. For a festive table strive to cook the kale perfectly so that it looks beautifully green.

holidays & recipes: kale with coriander sauce and poppy turnips

The second side dish is poppy turnips. This recipe will surely make you a fan of turnips should you think them a blah, tasteless winter vegetable. The ancient Greeks and Romans had quite a variety of foods at their disposal, but the fact remains that they did not have refrigeration. They ate, largely, according to what was seasonal, making the best of foods, even those as unappealing as the turnip.

The best thing about these two side dishes is that they are inexpensive, easily made in large batches and, of course, taste like a winter touched by summer.

Poppy Turnips

An Ancient Holiday Dinner

1. Seared Beef with Lemon-Herb Crème Fraiche
2. Kale with Coriander Sauce
3. Poppy Turnips
4. Etruscan Foccacia
5. Hazel-Walnut Honey Custard

Kale with Coriander Sauce

Ingredients

3 large shallots, minced
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
½ cup muscatel or sherry vinegar
2 tbs honey
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 pound kale, chopped
Salt and pepper

Directions

1. Sauté the shallots in the oil in a large skillet, over medium heat until shallots are translucent. Add the muscatel (or sherry vinegar), honey and coriander. Bring to a boil.

2. Add the kale and sauté until tender, about 2-5 minutes. Add the salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Poppy Turnips

Ingredients

3 shallots, thinly sliced
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 white turnips, julienned
3 tbs raspberry or fruit vinegar
3 tbs honey
Salt and pepper
2 tbs poppy seeds

Directions

1. Sauté the shallots in the oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat until shallots are translucent

2. Add the turnips, vinegar and honey. Season with the salt and pepper. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until the turnips are tender.

3. Sprinkle with the poppy seeds and serve.

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8 comments

  • December 8, 2011 at 11:52 pm //

    I love anything with kale and your recipe looks wonderful. Now turnips are another thing altogether but you have made these look quite tempting. I will definitely give a try to making these. Have a great day.

  • December 9, 2011 at 12:38 am //

    Those poppy turnips are sure different from what I’m used to. I like that it’s a sweet recipe.

  • December 9, 2011 at 1:41 am //

    Yummers! You’ve reminded me that I need to go out and get some more kale! Such a great veggie…

  • December 9, 2011 at 2:38 am //

    Very interesting–and what wonderful side dishes for the holidays!

  • December 9, 2011 at 3:44 am //

    I’ve just recently fallen in love with kale and this sounds like a great dish for a cold night!

  • December 9, 2011 at 6:37 pm //

    Thank you all so much for your lovely comments, they mean so much to us.