Nothing is ever wasted in a peasant household, whatever is not eaten by the family will be used up by the animals. But this is not the case with the humble turnip top, which is so delicious it is considered too good for the animals. In Apulia they are especially fond of this vegetable and it turns up in all sorts of recipes, often accompanying pasta. This recipe uses garlic, rosé wine and bay leaves to make a very tasty dish. If you haven't got turnip tops, try using sliced turnips or another similar green vegetable such as spinach or beetroot leaves.
Wash and trim the turnip tops or spinach and then cook them in a covered pan with just the water that adheres to the leaves. As they cook, push the leaves aside and remove all the water that forms as they cook, as this is bitter and would spoil the flavour. When there is no more water, add the salt and pepper, garlic cloves, bay leaves, oil and wine. Stir and cook for a further 15 minutes.
© 1995 Valentina Harris. All rights reserved.