Thursday, December 13, 2012

Surprisingly Good: Roasted Turnips

I am slightly embarrassed to say that I don't think I've ever eaten turnips before a couple weeks ago.  For sure not as a stand alone vegetable.  Forgive me, will you?  It's one of those things.  I don't remember my mother ever cooking with them.  Jamey has never suggested we grow them.  And I've often heard that people don't like them.  So, when a neighbor brought us a bowl full of wild turnips he and his son picked while hunting, internally I groaned a bit. I was going to have to make and eat turnips.  Sure, I guess I wouldn't have had to, but they were gifted to me so it seemed like the proper thing to do.

Now, please don't go gifting me weird things because you think I'll eat anything I'm given.  I can and will draw the line...somewhere, anyway.


I didn't go searching for recipes.  Instead I thought, "Well, they're a root vegetable, so they're likely good roasted," and left it at that.  I scrubbed them, cut off the tails and tops and diced them.


Then, I tossed them with olive oil, salt and pepper.  I spread them on a greased cookie sheet and roasted them at 400 degrees until they were soft, tossing them once or twice.

They were delicious.

They reminded us of brussels sprouts (which we like when they aren't overly bitter).  The roasting process gave them a wonderful touch of sweetness...my.  Needless to say, we were sad when we hit the bottom of that bowl after making them twice.

Turnips just might be in our garden line-up for next year.  Are they in yours?


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17 comments:

  1. I can't find the post I made about turnips several months ago, but here's link to some other great recipes. http://www.motherearthnews.com/Organic-Gardening/2007-10-01/Triumphant-Turnips.aspx?page=2 I'll have to stick some in your Christmas basket. We love turnips! We like to roast them (divine with sesame oil, sesame seeds and a little honey), pickle them - Soccer Boy eats these like crazy, and mash them with potatoes - not sure if they would make you like potatoes any more though.

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  2. I have never eaten turnips myself, but roasted, I just may try them. Thanks for sharing.

    blessings, jill

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  3. Gosh I never thought about growing them but if they taste like brussel sprouts, well then yes! My sprouts would not grow this year due to bugs, my dogs (So mad at those dogs....) and then the last of the plants went in the ground too late I didn't want to give up on growing them! I'll be trying turnips next year :-)

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  4. We are growing turnips in our garden, both for the people and the animals. We have never eaten them roasted, but we'll try that soon. Usually, we stir fry them (cube the roots and stir fry until almost done then add the green tops and cook for a bit more) or add to soups. We usually feed them raw to the goats and cows, but the does appreciate warm cooked turnips on really cold mornings. Turnips are easy to grow and easy to use.

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  5. Oh yes, I discovered I loved turnips when I planted them last year. They grow easily in my garden and I love both the roots and the tops sauteed with a little olive oil and shoyu.

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  6. Turnips are a yearly crop in our garden. We like the greens and the roots both. Many people around here use them just like potatoes....fries, mashed, au gratin. They are really easy to grow as long as they are thinned well.

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  7. You're making my mouth water. They look so yummy! They are definitely in the garden line-up now!

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  8. O yes, I was raised with turnips (white like you have ) and western turnip (yellow which is in fact rutataba) and adore both of them..

    I like fresh white turnip in salads (My favorite is grated white turnips, apple with cranberries mixed in with a creamy dill dressing.. just yum), but roasted with other root veggies its awesome.

    I also use them in all kinds of soups/stews/stirfries, and for the yellow kind, boiled, mashed with butter, salt and on holiday's a bit of honey or brown sugar to dress them up a bit..

    I love the sweetness that comes out in them, if you can get your hands on the yellow ones, use their cooking water when making your turkey gravy instead of the potato.. o my, will that gravy be good and just smile when folks say.. what did you do to it? I can never get mine to taste like this.. I use a mix of turnip and super sweet carrot water when making my holiday gravies.

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  9. Thanks for this idea. I didn't grow up on turnips either and have avoided them based on comments I've heard. I did buy a few from a farmer this fall to try them but wasn't brave enough to try them plain. I might now. I also enjoy reader comments and all of the good ideas that come from them.

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  10. I grew up on turnip, both boiled and mashed as well as turnip sticks (like carrot sticks). I also roast them. We planted them this year but they didn't do well. They grew a whole bunch of little roots, not one big bulb. We will try again next year. :) Enjoy your new winter vegetable!

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  11. I know that I like them, my biggest challenge though is, what do you serve them with? What 'matches' with turnips? Potatoes? What else was included in your supper?

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    1. Simone, For the life of me, I can't remember what the main dish was those times we made them. I'm pretty sure it didn't necessarily "match" as side dishes are usually an after thought for me as I'm planning our menu. I would guess that any meal that already included some vegetables in the main dish would pair nicely with it.

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  12. My husband and I like to do a rough chop on the turnip greens, adding in a few collard greens. then dice up the turnip...stir fry all together with diced onions/pepper/salt/olive oil. yum! something about the quick fry seems to tenderize the sometimes tough collard green. as for 'matching' in a meal, I treat them as a 'green' side. I grew up during the time of 'one green dish' at the supper meal! LOL! but for them they go with anything. we had pizza the other night and treated the turnip stirfry as our 'salad' before the pizza. ENJOY!

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  13. I roast turnips sometimes, but our favorite way to use them is grated raw in salads. We have a farmer who grows lettuce in his greenhouse right through the winter, so that's what we use in our winter salads. It's fun to taste new things!

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  14. I love turnips! Mostly because it's something I know I can grow. I've always just eaten them raw, straight out of the garden... peeled and sliced like carrots. My dad sprinkles salt on them. I'll have to try roasting them this year.

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  15. I love turnips! Try them fried in an iron skillet... Like fried potatoes. Mmm!

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  16. I LOVE turnips - they are my favorite vegetable. My personal favorite way to cook them is mashed, with a bit of butter and salt. You just boil them, same as potatoes, until fork tender, mash by hand and stir in the butter and salt to taste. They are naturally more liquidy than potatoes, so no milk is necessary. They are amazing as a standalone side dish, but you can also use them to sub mashed potatoes in dishes like shepherd's pie. They bake up beautifully on top as a crust. So good!

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