A Crop Raised

And the little green carrot tops were kicked off and the turnip greens trampled. And then the Jimson weed moved back in. But the cop was right. A crop raised–why, that makes ownership. Land hoed and the carrots eaten–a man might fight for land he’s taken food from. Get him off quick! He’ll think he owns it. He might even die fighting for the little plot among the Jimson weeds.

Did ya see his face when we kicked them turnips out? Why, he’d kill a fella soon’s he’d look at him. We got to keep these here people down or they’ll take the country. They’ll take the country. — John Steinbeck, from The Grapes of Wrath


Tagliatelle con cime di rapa

turnip greens, chopped coarsely
garlic, peeled and chopped
pinch of red pepper flakes
2 anchovy fillets
extra-virgin olive oil
toasted breadcrumbs
Parmagianno-Reggiano cheese, grated
tagliatelle or other pasta such as orecchiette or farfalle

Cook pasta and turnip greens in the same pot until al dente, drain.

Saute garlic in olive oil until lightly browned. Add anchovies and red pepper flakes. Stir, mashing anchovies with a wooden spoon or until the anchovies disintegrate into a paste. Add cooked pasta and greens. Toss. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until heated through.

Add breadcrumbs. Toss to coat. Serve immediately, passing cheese at the table.

If proportions are important to you, figure 2 cloves of garlic, two anchovy fillets packed in olive oil, 1/2 lb. turnip greens and 2 T. olive oil. Remember that the greens will shrink after cooking. No salt is necessary since the anchovies will have have plenty to begin with.

Total cooking time: 15 minutes, including prep.

5 thoughts

  1. Oh my God, that sounds great! I love greens (Swiss Chard, collards, escarole, kale), but don’t have a good recipe for turnip greens. I guess I’ve got one now. I just have make it before the husband gets home and finds out about the anchovies. If I don’t say anything he’ll never know.

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  2. I’m a greens fan too. I love beet greens. They were a favorite treat from the garden when I was a kid. Beets, not so much, but I love beet greens.

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