Scarlet Queen

When you hear the words, “Scarlet Queen” what sort of visual does your imagination summon? Do you think of a dark-haired vixen dressed in red satin or are you moved to an image of the 1970s rocker chick Stevie Nicks making her way across the stage in a long flowing red cape?

While there is likely a handful of both men and women who would love to take on the title, the name Scarlet Queen was made famous in the late 1940s when producer James Burton created the radio drama, Voyage of the Scarlet Queen. The episodes were ocean adventures that took place aboard a 78-foot sailing craft with two masts known as a ketch.

Voyage of the Scarlet Queen from Old Time Radio CD Artwork http://www.otrr.org

Voyage of the Scarlet Queen from Old Time Radio CD Artwork http://www.otrr.org

Those familiar with this program believe that it may have heavily influenced the production of Star Trek decades later. Every episode opened with the ship’s master, Philip Carney reading an entry from the ship’s log naming his vessel, himself and a detailed description of their locale and the weather. And each show closed in a similar manner: “Ship secured for the night. Signed, Philip Carney, master.”

While the quality of this radio production placed it ahead of it’s time, the dialogue used accurate sailing terminology and map coordinates so that those at home drinking scotch from their captain’s chairs could easily follow the ketch course around the South Pacific. The stops of the Scarlet Queen were delivered in steady paced stories with music directed by Walter Schumann and composed by Nathan Scott. The master and first mate made adventures going ashore to find trouble, scrappy fist fights and women. And much like our Captain Kirk, they would return to the ship’s wheel to reminisce about the problems they’d solved before the master closed his log.

How a variety of red salad turnips came to be known as Scarlet Queen, I do not know. But I do know that this simple salad is worthy of an adventure be it on the high seas or otherwise. The short time it takes to prepare will leave you plenty of time for exploration, romantic interests and if you choose, even a good fist fight.

Scarlet Queen Red Turnip Salad
Adapted from Dunk & Crumble
Serves 4 – 6

The Queens

The Queens

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch Scarlet Queen Red turnips (about 5), sliced into 1/4-inch thick rounds using a mandolin
  • 1/2 medium cucumber, largely diced
  • 2 scallions, light green and white parts only, sliced thinly into rounds
  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachios
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
Mandolin Love

Mandolin Love

Directions:

In a medium salad bowl, combine the turnips, cucumber, scallion, and pistachios.  Sprinkle feta cheese on top, as well as a big pinch each of salt and black pepper.  Drizzle lemon juice and olive oil over salad, and toss gently to combine.

Scarlet Queen Salad

Scarlet Queen Salad

Serve immediately (if you prepare the salad in advance, withhold the feta, salt, pepper, lemon juice and olive oil until just before serving). Enjoy with an episode from the past:


Do you still listen to stories on the radio or on podcasts or in the car while you are driving?

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45 Comments

  1. Love the parallels to Star Trek ~> “Captain’s Log, Star Date . . . ”

    I wonder if my dad ever listened to The Voyage of the Scarlet Queen? He loved listening to the radio as a boy, teen, and young adult. And he loved nautical tales.

    What an interesting salad . . . those pistachios add an unusual twist.

    Reply
    • I was really surprised at the parallels between this and Star Trek. Did you have a chance to listen to the track at the bottom of the post? This salad really works well in it’s simplicity.

      Reply
  2. Love, love, love your blog! I look forward to reading your updates! GREAT!

    Reply
  3. Sally

     /  November 20, 2013

    Oh My Gosh. Does this bring back memories and how enjoyable! The menu items fun and yummy As usual. I wonder if I could incorporate red and yellow beets with the turnips?
    Thanks Tammy. Maybe where my love of the romance of the SEAS, began?

    Reply
    • I think you’re a bit too young to be able to remember the show but perhaps your parents listened. It’s a great venue.

      Reply
  4. I recall listening to lots of radio dramas in my childhood. Couldn’t get tv in my mountain community so we listened to Fibber Magee and Molly, Twilight Zone, and Stella Dallas and a bunch more I can’t recall. The turnips are beautiful.

    Reply
    • I still love to listen to Garrison Keillor. I think that radio would be a great way to push out the adhd of social media.

      Reply
  5. I’ve never heard of this radio drama and was nicely surprised to hear of the parallels to Star Trek! Also, the term Scarlet Queen wouldn’t have made me think of beets but rather of something disreputable. ;)

    Reply
    • Yes, it’s a surprising name for a turnip. That’s how the post began – I was trying to figure out where they got the name.

      Reply
  6. I’ve heard of turnips but not Scarlet Queen turnips. What a fancy name for a vegetable! I love the look of this salad and I think the finely sliced turnips would go very well with the fetta xx

    Reply
  7. Lovely recipe! We never got that radio show here. When we were children we listened to The Eyes Of Tracy Dark.

    Reply
  8. Mmmmmmmmmm,…..! A great recipe !!! 😉😋

    Reply
  9. Love it! Thx Tammy!

    Reply
  10. Reblogged this on MowryJournal.com and commented:
    A salad and a radio show. Who knew?

    Reply
  11. Lisa H

     /  November 22, 2013

    I grew up on Star Trek and loved it (and the new movies, too!). The Scarlet Queen doesn’t sound familiar. I enjoyed how you tied the two together and then found turnips with the same name. The salad is worthy of the name.

    Reply
  12. Beautiful name! I never knew there was a red variety – we always get the white salad turnips.

    Reply
  13. Oh, I just love turnips! This sounds like an awesome recipe, especially since it has feta in it, too :) Thanks for sharing, I’m sooo trying this when turnips are back in season here.

    Reply
  14. What a great “ambiance” in your post, Tammy ! Oh, this style of music reminds me of E. Flynn’s movies. I would love such a salad. I first thought “Scarlet Queen” was the name of an apple. Thank you for all the information.

    Reply
    • Glad you listened. I think many missed that the show was attached. I really like this salad and surprising, it might be good with apples too!

      Reply
  15. Your backstory about the ketch makes me wonder if Ketchikan was named for this? Love how you combine tangential information to bring layers and interest to the cooking, recipes and other anecdotes. Engaging! Renee

    Reply
  16. Love the story! I actually love turnips in salads, I love the “crunchy” quality. Makes the salad seem a bit more substantial to me. Lovely recipe- will try!

    Reply
  17. Gabe

     /  November 26, 2013

    Salad was good but I have a total desire to follow in the steps of the blokes on the Scarlett Queen!

    Reply
  18. The name immediately made me think of beets–wouldn’t that be a great name for a beet too? You are doing a great job using up your turnips! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    Reply
  19. Tammy, you’re a wealth of knowledge! I always learn something new from you. I love it!!

    Reply
  20. That radio drama must have been unforgettable. Before TV, we listened radio a lot of. Especially radio plays were very popular in Finland.

    Reply
  21. When you said “Scarlet Lady” I immediately thought of a swashbuckler. Guess that’s because I’m primed to go on a cruise and have adventure on the mind.

    Reply

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