CARAMELIZED TURNIPS WITH BACON AND DATES

Roasted turnips with bacon and dates-9431

My father once dismissed my mumbled teenage excuse for getting home late with the family car by asking me, “Do I look like I just fell off the back of the turnip wagon?”  The image of a mule-drawn cart heaped high with a bumpy cargo silhouetted against the moon rose in my mind, with my dad tumbling off the rear end.  Wisely, I held my tongue.  Ah, turnips, once the symbol of stupidity (turnip-head, not heard much any more) or deprivation (dietary staple for stateside Americans in WWII), have rolled back into fashion.  Witness our Macomber Turnips Roasted with Bacon and Dates.  Believe me, no one will mistake this dish with anything having to do with deprivation.

Warm Radish Salad with Bacon and Pea Tips

Sometimes you eat the bear and sometimes the bear eats you.  That’s the way it was with Warm Radish Salad with Bacon and Pea Tips.  Salad is a killer to photograph.  Light glints off the dressed surfaces, producing bits of glare or “hot spots.”  And if the salad is one part greens and another part something else, then while it may taste delicious to toss everything together, that homestyle approach doesn’t make for an alluring photo.  The heavier components tend to weigh down the more delicate ones.  What’s a guy with a camera and a chef for a wife to do?

Make the damn salad and photograph it a second time, that’s what.*  The salad above is composed with a photograph, or dinner guests, in mind–radishes here, salad there, easy on the dressing.  The photo shot from straight down later in the post is the way we’d normally eat the salad in all its messy collapsed glory.  Different stees.

You choose.