A smooth, creamy potato and turnip purée (potatoes for body, turnips for their earthy, slightly peppery bite) is a lovely thing. Adding pear to the equation makes it ethereal, the perfect side for rich holiday meats like duck, turkey, roast beef, or ham, a surprising alternative to mashed potatoes. You begin by boiling the potato and turnip together until about halfway done, then adding peeled cubes of Bosc, Anjou, or Bartlett pear. Drain, cook briefly to dry out, then puree with butter and cream.
- 3 pounds turnips
- 1/2 pound russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-1/2-inch cubes
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 pound ripe pears (Bosc, Anjou, or Bartlett), peeled, cut into 1-1/2-inch cubes, and kept in water with the juice of 1 medium lemon
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3/4 stick), at room temperature
- 1/2 cup heavy cream, heated
- Combine turnips and potatoes in a large saucepan or small stockpot and cover by 2 inches with cold water. (Turnips float, so you’ll have to push them down to make sure you’ve got enough water.)
- Add salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium high, partially cover, and cook for 10 minutes. Add pears, partially cover, and cook until vegetables and pears are tender when pierced, about another 15 minutes.
- Drain and return vegetables and pears to the pot over high heat. (The pears and turnips will release a lot of juices.) Cook, stirring often, until juices reduce and turn syrupy, about 5 minutes.
- Working in batches, purée vegetables and pears with butter and cream in a food processor until silky smooth. Add freshly ground white pepper, taste, and adjust seasoning as necessary. Serve immediately or leave puree in the pot for up to an hour and reheat over medium-low heat.