Time to Peel Off

To peel or not to peel? This is the question of the hour. Growing up, we knew dinner time was in the works when my Mom's peeler furiously stripped carrots, potatoes, cucumbers and the likes over the sink. Down the hatch. I wonder of this exercise was somehow therapeutic for my mother, who spoke to sometimes experiencing bedlam with we three young Breyer's. Sometime between then and now, keeping skins on became avant grade. Honestly, it saves a ton of time in the preparation department not to mention you get to hold onto powerful fiber and antioxidant properties. Just remember to wash thoroughly. I never peel carrots anymore. I pull them directly out of the bag, give them a quick scrub and chop. Sometimes I even snack on them whole and I always leave the skins on. Cucumber skins always stay on. Extra good stuff and the color is beautiful. I rarely peel potatoes anymore. When I do make mashed potatoes, leaving the skins on gives wonderful texture and a different debut. Throw in some scallions or greens and your guests will stare in awe. 

Keeping skins on sweet potatoes and basted with egg whites ensures that they achieve a crispy exterior if preparing frites. Plus peeling sweet potatoes is a great way to graze one's knuckles; those knobs can be stubborn fellows. When I manipulate beets, I leave the skins on. Once roasted, they peel off beautifully and you should remove the skins on beets. Radishes? Leave the skins on. Kiwi? Eat the skin; my South African relatives taught us this one. We recently read an article about the benefits of grilling banana peels. Stay tuned. A very dear friend, who is a CIA trained chef, gave me a delectable cleansing soup recipe today that calls for turnips. I have never prepared turnips before and so emailed him inquiring if these are one of the vegetables on which I can keep the skins. Like rutabagas he responded, off come the skins. Unless of course they are little in which case you can leave them on when roasting. I wasn't in the gambling mood and thus scavenged through drawers to find my lonely friend the peeler. The motion came right back to me and it was as effortless as riding a bike.

The below soup is uber healthy and beyond flavorful. Nutty with a hint of sweetness. After five days of significant calorie intake in New York City that began each morning with my quest for the best doughnut, I am giving the body a break this week. Speaking of, I will highlight our gastronomic onslaught as well as the 83 miles walked in tomorrow's post. The below soup is delicious, packed with simply the best ingredients and beyond satisfying. Turnips as well as fennel are marvelous blood tonics and the former might just be my new favorite vegetable. They taste very similar to potatoes but a bit on the sweeter side. The French love them. I heard through the grapevine that they steam them and then sauté in butter with minced parsley. A member of the cruciferous family (think broccoli, collards, kale and Brussel sprouts), they are known for their white bulbous roots. The leaves and sprouts are also edible and very nutritious. A significant addition to a healthy diet, turnips offer a spectacular range of terrific health advantages. High in fiber, these beauties have been associated with a lower risk for cancer. They are outstanding for weight loss, digestion and detoxification. Clearly I am interested in the latter. High in Vitamin C, they are also superb for one's eye vision. The list ensues. If you are wanting a robust lunch packed to the gills with nutrients, seek no further. Beets and Bratwurst has you covered.

Turnip, Fennel and Carrot Soup

1 small fennel bulb - thinly sliced
4 large carrots - sliced into coins
5 small turnips - peeled and chopped
2 cloves of garlic - chopped
1 cup of fresh cilantro
2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground cilantro
1 tsp kosher salt
Fresh cracked pepper
1 quart of organic low sodium chicken or vegetable stock
1 small bundle of broccoli rabe or rapini - chopped
1 tsp red pepper flakes
Chili oil
1 lemon


1. Prepare all your vegetables as outlined above and throw into a large bowl. On medium high heat, cook your garlic until golden. Now add the chopped vegetables, cilantro, turmeric, ground cilantro, salt and fresh cracked pepper. Stir gently a few times and let it cook for around ten minutes. Now add the broth. Bring to a furious bowl and lower to simmer for 30 minutes. 

For Serving

Grab your small bunch of chopped broccoli rabe. Bitter and delicious this one is. To prepare, simply wash the bundle thoroughly and sweat in 1 - 2 TBS olive oil with the water that is still on it from the wash. Cook until tender. Finish with red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Garnish on top of your soup along with a drizzle of the chili oil and squeeze from the lemon. Bon appetit.

No comments:

Post a Comment