Cooking With What’s in Season: Spring Turnips

Cooking With What’s in Season: Spring Turnips

A turnip recipe used in our cooking classes at Candy Lane Elementary.

A turnip recipe used in our cooking classes at Candy Lane Elementary.

This blog series will highlight the vegetables we grow at our Schoolyard Farms and give you simple tips about how to cook the vegetables at home.

The kids at Candy Lane Elementary recently tasted turnips and the response was great! In order to support you and your family in future turnip cooking of your own, here are some helpful turnip tips and preparation methods.

Selection and Storage:
In the Spring, you are likely to find small, tender turnips in the grocery store or farmers market called Hakurei Turnips. These juicy turnips have a mild horseradish flavor and are delicious raw or cooked. In the Fall, you’re likely to find Purple Top Turnips. These hearty turnips have a long shelf-life should be cooked for best results. Turnips should be firm and smooth with no signs of mold or decay. If the turnips have greens attached, make sure they are unblemished, crisp, and deep green in color.

Preparation:
Scrub turnips clean under cool running water.

Quick Serving Tips:
Dice turnips and boil them in water or chicken stock until tender. Mash them with a little bit of the reserved cooking liquid and season simply with salt, pepper, and some good quality butter or olive oil. You can also combine them with equal parts mashed potatoes as a way to sneak in additional nutrients.

Turnips are great in soups, stews, and vegetable casseroles.

Turnip greens can be added to any green salad.

Serve sautéed turnip greens with a little olive oil, lemon juice, and cayenne pepper, or salt and pepper.

Recipe:
Baked Spicy Turnip Fries, 2 Servings

  • 4 turnips, peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch french fries
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp chili powder (can be adjusted to taste)
  • 1/2 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

(If you don’t have spices on hand, feel free to simply use salt and pepper with olive oil. Or, if you have other spices you would rather use, feel free to substitute!)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Put the sliced turnips in a mixing bowl and toss really well with the chili powder, oregano, and olive oil (or spices of choice). Lay them out flat onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes, take the fries out and flip every one of them then bake for another 15 minutes on the other side.

I hope you find these tips and recipes helpful and tasty for you and your family.

The author of this post, Sadie Harmon, is currently working on earning her master’s degree in Nutrition at the National College of Natural Medicine and is excited to be a part of the farm team as an intern for the semester! She truly believes that getting kids in the garden to try new foods, see how they grow, and learn why they are important for their bodies sets them up for future dietary success.