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Turnip In Different Textures

A duck salad—for vegetarians.

This started out as a duck salad—a beautiful all-white composition of thin ribbons of turnip intertwined with duck lardo. But Daniel Humm wanted it to work for vegetarians as well. To replace the meat, one of his cooks pickled and dehydrated turnips to create something that reminded Humm of sea snails—in a good way. In the final dish, different preparations of turnip are unified in a dashi made with pine branches foraged by farmer Rick Bishop. The charred pine—and toasted juniper berries—add a floral woodsy aroma. You won’t even miss the duck. —Genevieve Ko

Ingredients

Makes 10 servings
  • 2 C Turnip Dashi
  • 7 T Smoked butter
  • + Pickled Dried Quartered Turnips
  • + White Soy-Marinated Dried Turnips
  • + Pickled Turnip Punches

Special Equipment

  • + vacuum sealer, vacuum bag, and immersion circulator
  • + smoker setup and applewood chips
  • + dehydrator

Turnip Dashi

  • 2 large turnips, cut into very thin slices
  • 4 Tokyo turnips, shaved into paper-thin slices
  • 1 untreated, food-safe pine branch
  • 1 t juniper berries, toasted
  • 2 sheets kombu
  • 4 C Smoked Dried Turnips
  • + white soy sauce
  • + Kombu Pickling Liquid
  • + kosher salt
  • + xantham gum

Smoked Butter

  • 3 1/2 oz unsalted butter, cut into 1" cubes
  • + charcoal
  • + applewood chips

Smoked Dried Turnips

  • 8 medium turnips, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2/3 C white soy sauce

Kombu Pickling Liquid

  • 3 sheets kombu, rinsed with cold water
  • 4 C rice wine vinegar
  • 1 3/4 C + 2 T sugar
  • 3/4 C kosher salt

White Soy–Marinated Dried Turnips

  • 10 small turnips, peeled, cut into 1⁄3" thick slices
  • 1 C white soy sauce, plus more to taste
  • 1 C Turnip Dashi

Pickled Turnip Punches

  • 10 medium turnips, peeled and cut into 1⁄3" thick slices
  • 4 2/3 C Kombu Pickling Liquid

Pickled Dried Quartered Turnips

  • 8 medium turnips, peeled and quartered
  • 1 1/3 C Kombu Pickling Liquid
  • 1/2 C Turnip Dashi

Preparation

Turnip Dashi

Turnip Dashi
  • 2 large turnips, cut into very thin slices
  • 4 Tokyo turnips, shaved into paper-thin slices
  • 1 untreated, food-safe pine branch
  • 1 t juniper berries, toasted
  • 2 sheets kombu
  • 4 C Smoked Dried Turnips
  • + white soy sauce
  • + Kombu Pickling Liquid
  • + kosher salt
  • + xantham gum
  1. Heat a broiler or salamander. Fit a wire rack into a half-sheet pan, and spread the sliced turnips on the rack. Broil until the turnips begin to dry out and turn light golden brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a large, wide saucepan.

  2. Add the shaved turnips and enough water to cover, about 8 cups. Bring to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, heat the pine branch in a large skillet set over high heat until the needles begin to smoke.

  4. After 45 minutes of simmering, add the pine to the turnip broth along with the juniper berries, kombu, and smoked dried turnips. Return to a simmer, then remove from heat. Transfer to a large bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Steep in a warm spot for 30 minutes.

  5. Strain the dashi through a coffee filter set in a sieve. Season to taste with white soy, kombu pickling liquid, and salt. Blend with a tiny bump of xanthan gum as needed to reach a sauce-like consistency.

Smoked Butter

Smoked Butter
  • 3 1/2 oz unsalted butter, cut into 1" cubes
  • + charcoal
  • + applewood chips
  1. Heat a salamander or broiler.

  2. Place the butter in a single layer in a small ovenproof pan then nestle that into another pan filled with ice. Slide both onto the top rack of a cold oven.

  3. Line another pan with foil and spread a single layer of charcoal in it. Place under the salamander or broiler until smoldering. Sprinkle wood chips on top of the charcoal and place on the bottom rack of the cold oven with the butter. Immediately close the oven door and smoke for 15 minutes. (If you do not own a three-star restaurant kitchen and have only one oven, you could ignite the charcoal with a kitchen torch, or use a covered kettle grill as a smoke chamber in lieu of your oven.)

  4. Remove the butter from the oven. Stir well to evenly distribute the smoke flavor. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until solid.

Smoked Dried Turnips

Smoked Dried Turnips
  • 8 medium turnips, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2/3 C white soy sauce
  1. Combine the turnips, white soy sauce, and 2/3 cup of water in a vacuum bag and seal. Cook sous vide at 185°F/85°C until the turnips are soft to the touch, about 12 minutes. Place the bag in an ice water bath. Once cooled, retrieve the bag and remove the turnips from the bag.

  2. Heat a smoker loaded with applewood chips to 225°F. Smoke the turnips on a rack or perforated pan for 15 minutes.

  3. Transfer the turnips to a dehydrator and dehydrate at 165°F/74°C until completely hard. Alternatively, dry out and harden the turnips overnight in a 200°F oven on a wire rack set in a sheet pan.

Kombu Pickling Liquid

Kombu Pickling Liquid
  • 3 sheets kombu, rinsed with cold water
  • 4 C rice wine vinegar
  • 1 3/4 C + 2 T sugar
  • 3/4 C kosher salt
  1. Put all the ingredients in a saucepan, along with 1 1⁄2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the salt and sugar, then remove from heat and pour into a small heatproof bowl. Chill the liquid over an ice bath, then strain, discarding the kombu.

White Soy-Marinated Dried Turnips

White Soy–Marinated Dried Turnips
  • 10 small turnips, peeled, cut into 1⁄3" thick slices
  • 1 C white soy sauce, plus more to taste
  • 1 C Turnip Dashi
  1. Combine the turnips, white soy, and 1 cup water in a vacuum bag and seal. Cook sous vide at 185°F/85°C until the turnips are soft to the touch, about 12 minutes. Place the bag in an ice-water bath. Once cool, retrieve the bag and remove the turnips from the bag.

  2. Transfer the turnips to a dehydrator and dehydrate at 165°F/74°C until completely dry but still slightly pliable, about 8 hours. Alternatively, dehydrate the turnips overnight in a 200°F oven on an acetate- or silicone- lined sheet pan. Transfer to a large bowl.

  3. Bring the turnip dashi to a simmer in a small saucepan. Season aggressively with white soy. Pour over the dried turnips and let stand to rehydrate, about 1 hour.

Pickled Turnip Punches

Pickled Turnip Punches
  • 10 medium turnips, peeled and cut into 1⁄3" thick slices
  • 4 2/3 C Kombu Pickling Liquid
  1. Use a 1 3⁄4-inch circular cookie cutter to punch out a perfect round from each turnip slice. Place the rounds in a large bowl.

  2. Bring the pickling liquid to a boil and pour over the turnip punches. Let cool to room temperature and reserve in the liquid.

Pickled Dried Quartered Turnips

Pickled Dried Quartered Turnips
  • 8 medium turnips, peeled and quartered
  • 1 1/3 C Kombu Pickling Liquid
  • 1/2 C Turnip Dashi
  1. Combine the turnips, 1 cup of the kombu pickling liquid, and 1 cup water in a vacuum bag and seal. Cook sous vide at 198°F/92°C until the turnips just begin to soften, about 25 minutes. Place the bag in an ice-water bath. Once cool, retrieve the bag and remove the turnips from the bag.

  2. Transfer the turnips to a dehydrator and dehydrate at 165°F/74°C until they have the texture of dried apple slices, about 8 hours. Alternatively, dehydrate the turnips in a 200°F oven on a silicone-lined sheet pan, about 8 hours. Transfer to a small bowl.

  3. Bring the turnip dashi and remaining 1/3 cup pickling liquid to a simmer in a saucepan. Pour over the dried turnips and let stand, turning occasionally, until rehydrated, about 1 1/2 hours.

Ingredients
  • 2 C Turnip Dashi
  • 7 T Smoked butter
  • + Pickled Dried Quartered Turnips
  • + White Soy-Marinated Dried Turnips
  • + Pickled Turnip Punches
  1. Bring the turnip dashi and smoked butter to a simmer in a large, wide skillet. Add all the turnips and cook, gently turning, until completely glazed, about 5 minutes. Divide the turnips among serving dishes, then top with the cooking liquid.