Position racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven and heat the oven to 475°F. Line two large, heavy-duty rimmed baking sheets with foil. In a mixing bowl, combine the turnips, oil, and 11/2 tsp. salt. Toss to coat well. Divide the turnips between the two pans and spread evenly in one layer. Roast for 20 minutes. With a large spatula, flip the turnips. Swap the pans’ positions and roast until tender and nicely browned on a few sides, 15 to 20 minutes. (The turnips on the lower rack may be done sooner than those on the upper rack.)
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Whisk in the maple syrup, vanilla, and red pepper flakes, and then the coriander and cardamom, until the sauce is heated, 30 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat.
Transfer the turnips to a large mixing bowl. Gently reheat the sauce, if necessary, and stir in the lemon juice. With a heatproof spatula, toss the sauce with the turnips. Add half of the cilantro and salt to taste and toss again. Transfer to a warm serving dish and garnish with the remaining cilantro.
Make Ahead Tips
This dish can be made a day ahead. To reheat, put the dressed turnips (without the cilantro) in a large nonstick skillet and cover with a lid. Heat gently over medium-low heat until warmed through,stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.Add the cilantro and season to taste with salt just before serving.
nutrition information (per serving):
Photo: Scott Phillips