Curing turnips and swede in a salt and spice mixture creates a few small miracles. It extracts the water, which changes both the texture and the flavour, and it creates an extraordinary canvas of sour, sweet, acidity and spice.
- 450 g (14 oz) turnips, peeled and thinly sliced
- 200 g (7 oz) swede, peeled and thinly sliced
- 6 juniper berries, ground to a powder
- 2 cloves, ground to a powder
- grating of mace
- 1 heaped tsp sea salt
- pinch of caster sugar
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- 3 tbsp duck fat
- 1½ tbsp chardonnay vinegar
- 1 tbsp gin
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Standing time 3 hours
In a large bowl, mix the turnip and swede with the juniper berries, cloves, mace, salt, sugar and cayenne. Cover and set aside for 3 hours for the vegetable juices to release and exchange flavours.
In a large sauté pan or frying pan over a high heat, sweeten the turnips and swede in the duck fat. Lower the heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. The vegetables should be slightly soft but still have a little bite. Stir in the vinegar and gin, taste and season if required.
Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks.
See more from Raymond Blanc in Royal Gardens On A Plate, on SBS and SBS On Demand.