Turnips

 

Turnips are a root vegetable commonly associated with potatoes or beets, but their closest relatives are radishes and arugula, which are also members of the mustard family. Large or old turnips can become unpleasantly "hot" because of this unless properly cooked and combined with milder vegetables like potatoes, but younger turnips add a great zip to dishes.


Turnips are available all year long, but are at their best in fall and spring, when they are small and sweet.  We specialize in an early spring turnip,  Larger turnips necessarily develop tougher skins and a stronger flavour, but are great for mashing and or adding to soups and stews.


Storage

Both the tops and roots are edible.  To improve the freshness of both, remove turnip greens and store separately in plastic bags in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.  Quality and taste will decrease with time though so to enjoy them at their peak, eat as quickly as possible. 

Nutrition

The turnip's root is high in vitamin C. The green leaves of the turnip top ("turnip greens") are a good source of vitamin A, folate, vitamin C, vitamin K and calcium. Turnip greens are also high in lutein.


Varieties we grow:

Harukei

Scarlet



History

Before potatoes were abundant beyond South America, turnips were everyday staples, particularly in Europe during the Middle Ages. The origins of the turnip are vague but it may have come from northeastern Europe or Asia many thousands of years ago. Thriving in a cold, damp climate, turnips were the food of Europe’s poor, the majority of the population. At some undetermined point in history, the less nutritious turnip gave up its role as everyday vegetable to the more nutritious spud.


Recipes


***These small spring turnips are best eaten raw as they have a wonderful mild flavour and crunchy texture.


What to turn these turnips into...


Grate them into salad.

Slice them thinly and sauté them on both sides in a small amount of vegetable oil. Sprinkle with black pepper.

Turnips add rich flavour to any kind of broth or stock or stew.

Grate and add to soup - you will have people guessing.

Roast turnips whole, quartered or sliced in the oven, with a sprinkling of olive oil and some herbs you like.  I sometimes make a large tray of roasted beets, turnips, sweet potatoes, onions, and whole garlic cloves.

You can grill them.

Cook turnips as you would potatoes (although they cook much faster, since they are not as dense). Removing the thin peel after cooking prevents waste and preserves the nutrients just under the skin.

Mash cooked turnip into mashed potatoes.


***These small spring turnips are best eaten raw as they have a wonderful mild flavour and crunchy texture, but you could try them glazed:


Glazed Salad Turnips