Dishing Up the Dirt

Turnip Au Gratin For Henry

Over the past year I have moved away from sharing many personal stories here on the blog and have decided to dedicate this space primarily for recipes only. All life updates and general farm stories are shared via instagram these days.  So for some of you, this news has already been shared, but for folks who don’t already know, we lost our beloved pup Henry last week. We have been utterly heart broken and I can honestly say this is the hardest, deepest pain I have ever known. I’ve lost humans in my life but this is the first dog I’ve ever lost and it has completely shattered me. With that being said, Henry lived a full life where he got to free range on the farm, ride shotgun with me when I dropped of vegetable deliveries to restaurants, and cuddle up next to me and Taylor in the evenings while we would rest our aching and bruised up bodies from a long days work.

One thing that Henry loved more than life itself was turnips. Taylor and I have thought his addiction to them has been very odd over the last decade, but now we absolutely get a kick out of how much he adored them. Turnips could be planted in the field next to carrots, beets and even vine ripened strawberries and Henry would always dig for the turnips. Turnips over strawberries? I know!! He was seriously in love. We joke that his fur was so white because of how many turnips he consumed! I remember a time when a restaurant had placed an order for 40 bunches of turnips and upon delivery we realized we were down 3 bunches. There was only one guy to blame! Henry also had to be placed in the house on CSA delivery days if turnips were in the shares that week. As we loaded up boxes he could be so sneaky about pulling out a bunch of turnips when our backs were turned. His last meal the morning we had to put him down was turnips and fried bacon. He hadn’t been feeling well all week and was quite out of it when we gave him his last meal, but the guy devoured the bowl of turnips and bacon (in fact he went for the turnips first and bacon last). It was the perfect send off.

This past week I haven’t been feeling very inspired in the kitchen, but I knew I wanted to honor Henry and make a meal that he would absolutely love. This Turnip Au Gratin is right up Henry’s alley and I so wish he had been here to help me do the dishes and lick our plates clean. And of course, this isn’t just Henry approved, Taylor and I devoured this dish and I hope you all enjoy it as much as we do. The turnips are cooked in a creamy mushroom sauce and topped with a bacon and walnut crumbled. It’s absolutely divine!

Cheers to our sweet sweet boy who we hope is running wild in a sea of turnips free of pain. We love you Mr. Henry!

Turnip Au Gratin For Henry

Prep Time: 15 minutes    Cook Time: 30 minutes    Serves: 4-6 as a side

Topping
  • 4 slices thick cut bacon, finely chopped
  • 1 medium sized onion, diced
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • ½  cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
Filling
  • Salt (for the cooking water)
  • 1 pound small white turnips, sliced in half or quartered if larger (you want about 1/2 inch chunks)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 12 ounces mushrooms (any variety or mix works well-- portobello, button, porcini, chanterelle) roughly chopped
  • hefty pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Preparation

 
  1. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.
  2. In a large cast iron skillet cook the bacon over medium heat until cooked through and lightly crisp (it will cook a little more in the oven so no need to get it extra crispy) With a slotted spoon remove the bacon from the pan to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Add the onion to the bacon drippings (you should have about 1 tablespoon leftover, if there’s way more than that pour out some and save for future use). Cook the onion until soft and tender, about 8 minutes Remove from the pan and place in a bowl. Add the walnuts to the same pan and cook, shaking the pan often, until lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Add the walnuts to the bowl with the onion and sprinkle in the bacon. Add parsley and cheese. Toss the whole mixture well. Keep to the side.
  3. Wipe out the cast iron (you’ll be using it again).
  4. Bring a large pot of  salted water to a boil. Add the turnips and blanch for 3 minutes. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold water to help stop the cooking.
  5. Melt the butter in the cast iron skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, a hefty pinch of salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms begin to give up some of their liquid, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and nutmeg and continue to cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir to combine. Cook for 1 minute. Add the broth and simmer for 1 minute. Decrease the heat to medium-low and add the cream. Cook until the mixture thickens, stirring occasionally, approximately 6 to 8 minutes.
  6. Remove from the heat and add the turnips. Sprinkle evenly with the bacon onion mixture. Place into the oven and bake until bubbly, approximately 15-18 minutes.
 

Notes

*Use this recipe as a guide and adjust measurements and ingredients as necessary


Leave a Reply

18 thoughts on “Turnip Au Gratin For Henry

  1. Tanya says:

    Aw, this made me laugh and cry. Dogs are the very best. Deeply sorry about your sweet Henry.

  2. Sue Kusch says:

    So sorry to hear about Henry. I hope he is running wild my beloved Max who I lost a year ago. The pain is incredible and I truly felt the word heart-break. I love the image of Henry plucking turnip bunches from you. I don’t do Instagram so appreciate your blog posts.

  3. Alysia says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I also appreciated getting to know your Henry. Bet he’ll still be riding shotgun with you. Wishing you and Taylor much peace during this time.

  4. Robin Schutt says:

    Nothing is better than the love of a dog. Henry sounds like an extraordinary boy and I’m sure he is running free at the Rainbow Bridge.
    I’m inspired by your tribute to try this recipe. I’ll offer Champ our elderly big dog a serving in Henry’s honor.

  5. Jennifer Thomas says:

    Now I’m crying! That is a beautiful tribute, as were your Instagram updates. Our animals are our heart and souls! Now I’m going to make this and go give my dogs a hug❤️❤️❤️

  6. J. Goerl says:

    Andrea and Taylor I’m so sorry for your loss.

  7. Carmel says:

    Your story has brought tears to my eyes. I know all too well the deep hurt you are experiencing. There is NOTHING like the love and total adoration of a dog. He even aimed to please at the end. You were all blessed for your time together.

  8. Sue says:

    Oh nooo I am so very sorry to hear about your sweet Henry I always loved seeing his beautiful face in your photos & seeing him always made me smile. He was so loved & blessed to have had such a happy life with you on your farm. Pups are so full of pure love, they are angels here on earth & we don’t deserve them. My heart breaks for you…I understand your deep grief & send you much love & visions of sweet Henry running free surrounded by turnips

  9. Susan says:

    Peace to you guys- I know how hard this is. He had a great life with you!

  10. Lenny says:

    Peace to all…
    The rainbow bridge is real.

  11. julie says:

    bye Henry – you were loved!

  12. Linda Kanaly says:

    aww I am so sad and crying for you and Taylor while I read this. There is nothing like losing a dog and it is heartbreaking that never goes away, Now Henry is playing with our 5 who are up in heaven while he watches over you guys. Henry was a lucky boy to have you for his parents. Thanks for sharing this recipe in honor of Henry. We don’t have Instagram either like some others on here.

  13. Linda says:

    aww I am so sad and crying for you and Taylor while I read this. There is nothing like losing a dog and it is heartbreaking that never goes away, Now Henry is playing with our 5 who are up in heaven while he watches over you guys. Henry was a lucky boy to have you for his parents. Thanks for sharing this recipe in honor of Henry. We don’t have Instagram either like some others on here.

  14. Jean Husson says:

    Oh dear…. I am so sorry to hear about that love, Henry. I remember how hard you both worked when you first adopted him to bring him out of his shell and put a bit of weight on him. What a wonderful life you gave him — runs in the fields, lots of love and cuddles and trips in the truck. You were lucky to have each other. I will make the turnip gratin in his honor.

  15. Stewart Jenkins says:

    Thank you for sharing these delicious recipes and for giving us a peek into your life. I’m so sorry about Henry. I can totally imagine the devastation you feel when you lose a dog. My dog, Pablo, is about 4 years old and he’s the only one in the house who wakes up day after day and greets everyone happily. His positivity lifts our spirits. May you find comfort in each other, in beautiful trees and farm fields and birds, and in friends.

  16. Bobbi says:

    So very sorry for your loss. Big, warm, hugs and peace to you and Taylor.
    Please share all hugs with Stoney as I am sure he is missing his buddy.
    This looks like the perfect comfort casserole.

  17. Cory Raiton says:

    Your sorrow is palpable—I know it well. I am so sorry to hear about Henry, there is no love like that of a dog (and for a dog). Your tribute to him via this recipe and post is a loving send-off. Thank you for sharing.

  18. CYnthia Bell says:

    I am so sorry for your loss we lost Bailey 7 years ag. We still deeply miss him he would have been 12 his vet appointment the year before they said dogs his type and size usually do not live past 12. He had no health issues. He died very suddenly it was a total shock. We never thought to have another dog we loved him so much recently we adopted a puppy I found in the street. She is deaf. She looked like a little fox so we named her Foxie she has captured our hearts. Bailey was an Austrailian Shepard. Foxie is a Basingi. I don’t have Instagram but love your blog with its stories and recipes

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