Sunday, May 1, 2016

Smashed Turnips and Potatoes with Roasted Carrot Hummus à la The Vegetable Butcher

April was a ridiculously unproductive month for me in regards to the Foodie Reads 2016 Challenge. I barely read any foodie books. I barely read any books for that matter. But, I'm reinvigorated and am kicking off the month with a book that is guaranteed to get you to eat more vegetables. I promise.

On the Page...
The Vegetable Butcher by Cara Mangini* intrigued me as soon as I heard the title: The Vegetable Butcher. That seemed a little silly. Do we really butcher vegetables?! But, I was instantly interested in reading it and bought it sight unseen. So, I guess it wasn't so silly after all.

First, a note: I live on the central coast of California. I'm five miles from the artichoke capital and nearby Salinas valley is called 'America's salad bowl.' I've belonged to a CSA (community supported agriculture) farm for over a decade. So I have access to a wonderful selection of local produce all year long.

This book is a fantastic resource for vegetable veterans and those who are just getting acquainted with produce. She provides a visual guide to cutting vegetables, showing you how to cut matchsticks from conical vegetables, how to cut oblong slices from cylindrical vegetables, how to use a mandoline, and how to chiffonade leafy greens.

She has organized the book alphabetically, starting with artichokes and arugula all the way through turnips and zucchini. Each vegetable has an informational page that tells readers when it's in season, what varieties to try, how to make your selections, which ingredients that are good partners, and how to store it. Then Mangini shows you how to butcher it and provides a handful of recipes for the vegetable.

I have to admit that I squealed with glee when I saw her section on cardoons. I have rarely met anyone in America who cooks cardoons much less knows what they are.

This cookbook already has a prominent place in my kitchen! And I look forward trying all of her recipes!

On the Plate...
Inspired by a few different recipes - Smashed and Seared Beets and Roasted Beet Hummus - I adapted to make this delicious brunch plate of Smashed Turnips and Potatoes with Roasted Carrot Hummus. That's another thing I love about Mangini's book: while these are recipes, they are tried and true processes. So you can swap out a vegetable and cook it the same way for another great dish.

Roasted Turnips, Potatoes, and Carrots
Yes, I know there are beets in this photo...
I roasted them on the same pan for another recipe.

  • 6 baby turnips
  • 8 to 10 baby potatoes
  • 12 to 14 carrots
  • olive oil for drizzling and searing + 2 T for the hummus
  • 1/2 t sea salt
  • 2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 T tahini
  • 2 T fresh herbs (I used parsley and cilantro)
  • crumbled parmesan cheese for serving
  • freshly ground pepper for serving

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lay turnips, carrots, and potatoes on a silicone or parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle them with olive oil. Roast them for 40 to 45 minutes, until tender and easily pierced with a fork.

Place the carrots, lemon juice, tahini, herbs, and 2 T olive oil into a blender. Process until smooth.

Smashed Turnips and Potatoes
Using a potato masher or a rolling pin, gently press down on the turnips and potatoes to flatten them slightly. Heat a splash of olive oil in a large flat-bottom pan. Place the potatoes and turnips in the pan and cook until the edges are crisped and caramelized, approximately 3 to 4 minutes per side.

To Serve
Place your smashed turnips and potatoes on individual serving plates or a large platter. Smear a dollop of hummus on each piece. Sprinkle with crumbled cheese and freshly ground pepper. Serve immediately.

*This blog currently has a partnership with in their affiliate program, which gives me a small percentage of sales if you buy a product through a link on my blog. It doesn't cost you anything more. If you are uncomfortable with this, feel free to go directly to and search for the item of your choice.

Here's what everyone else read in May 2016: here.


  1. Sound like a really interesting read. It was hard to get certain vegetables like artichokes in other parts of the world but now things are becoming more and more accessible. This sounds like a perfect recipe to make your kids eat something healthy and meatless for a change.:)

  2. I entered to win a copy of this cookbook. Hope I win.

  3. I love the title of this book!

  4. Sounds like a great book! I'll have to check it out!


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