Modern Hospitality

I love to cook, and I’m always in search for a good cookbook to try new recipes. I was fortunate to have the chance to talk with MasterChef: Season 1 winner and author of Modern Hospitality cookbook, Whitney Miller. Inspired by her great grandmother, Whitney loved that food spoke to people. Her great grandmother would open her house and welcome others in and enjoy a southern dish. Unfortunately, Southern dishes have a bad reputation for being heavy in fat and unhealthy. Whitney has changes this perception and loves to use an abundance amount of vegetables. Her philosophy for vegetables and children is “Don’t try to hide them.” You just need to use creativity in incorporating them into your meal plan. I have included the Turnip Green Pesto below because my kids couldn’t eat enough of this “super green” vegetable.

Modern Hospitality has a lovely feminine, vintage feel and lots of beautiful photos. The recipes are Southern and, for the most part, simple. 
All of the recipes are true to Southern ingredients and flavor profiles but making them slightly healthier and more modern. She also takes some non-Southern dishes and uses ingredients indigenous to this region of the country to put her own spin on them such as Turnip Green Pesto.

Turnip Green Pesto


  • 11 turnip greens, ribs removed
  • 2 1/2 cup tablespoons walnuts, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled 
  • salt and ground black pepper 
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Fill a large pot halfway with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Place the turnip greens two at a time in he boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove the leaves and drain on the paper town and pat dry. Stack the leaves on top of one another. Roll into a cigar and cut crosswise into 1-inch-wide strips

Preheat the oven to 350-degrees. Place walnuts on a baking sheet and bake until lightly toasted, about 5 minutes.

Place the turnip green strips in a food processor. Add the toasted walnuts, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Process until it begins to form a paste, about 2 minutes. With the processor running, drizzle oil and butter. Add the Parmesan and pulse 2 or 3 times. Season to taste with more salt and pepper. Transfer the pesto to a small bowl.

NOTE: Whitney Miller will be at Neiman Marcus Willow Bend in Plano tonight, September 8, for their Fashion Night Event starting at 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. to sign her cookbook and to answer any of your questions.  If you cannot make it tonight, she will be at Barnes & Noble at Preston & Royal in Dallas tomorrow, September 9, from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. 

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