Turnip Salad – An update of mom’s potato salad (Serves 6-8)
My mother made the best potato salad when I was a child. I called and asked how she did it and what she described did not fit my childhood memories. Her recipe from the 1960s had changed! The taste of her potato salad is lost in history, but my modern take on her classic dish is good. I don’t know if anyone will remember this recipe 50 years from now like I remember what my mom made, but it’s the second best “potato” salad I’ve ever had. Technically, mine is turnip salad and not potato salad. I used turnips in my update because they are nutritionally superior to white potatoes, my local farmer is harvesting turnips now, and most people cannot tell the difference.
Prep and cook time: 30 minutes
6 big turnips
2 stalks of celery
1.5 ounces of capers
1/2 of a big orange bell pepper
1 small sweet yellow onion
4 slices of prosciutto
5-6 tablespoons of mayonnaise (click here for mayonnaise recipe)
1-2 tablespoons of whole grain mustard
Red chili powder
Directions: Add eggs to a pan, cover with water, place lid on pan and bring water to a swift boil. As soon as the water boils, turn off heat and let eggs sit in hot water for at least 10 minutes. Peel turnips and cut into bite-size cubes. Add to a pot, cover with water, and add a generous amount of salt. Cover and bring to a slow boil. After 5 minutes, start testing them with a fork for doneness. They should begin to pierce easily in less than 10 minutes. Turn off heat when done and let sit covered 5-10 minutes before draining and adding turnips to a large mixing bowl. Meanwhile, chop two stalks of celery, half of a big bell pepper, and one small onion into small bits. Add chopped veggies to mixing bowl. Add capers. Cut 4 slices of prosciutto into small pieces and add to bowl. Peel boiled eggs, chop eggs into small pieces and add to bowl. Add a heavy dusting of garlic powder and a light dusting of red chili powder. Add 5-6 tablespoons of mayonnaise and 1-2 tablespoons of mustard and mix all ingredients well. Taste and adjust spices as needed – salt, garlic powder, or red chili powder.
Notes: This turnip salad is good warm or cold. I’ve never heated it, but if you make it fast enough, the turnips and boiled eggs make it a warm salad.
In place of capers, you could dice one or two dill pickles. My favorites are Bubbies kosher dills.
In place of orange bell pepper, you could use red, yellow, or green. I prefer the taste of red and orange.
My mother always cooked her onion with the potatoes, but I like the taste and crunch of raw onion, so don’t cook mine.
In place of turnips, you could use kohlrabi. I did not have enough turnips one day and did. I wonder about using jicama to make this salad, but that is an experiment for another day.
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