The happy, humble turnip! Subtle flavors, not-so-subtle crunch. Jeremy’s favorite vegetable? – the turnip. Maybe under rated, but over-the-top good for you. Turnips were a staple crop in Northern Europe before potatoes were introduced from the New World. Rightfully so, as they are a good source of fiber and vitamin C while their greens are full of Vitamins A and K as well as calcium. Jeremy prefers to eat them straight out of the ground – greens too.
Early in the season we grow a Japanese spring turnip. These are sweet and delicious raw – they don’t even have to be peeled, simply scrubbed, sliced, and enjoyed. And don’t forget to eat the greens.
Lavender Orange Turnips
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- 1 bunch of small turnips whole or 3-4 medium turnips, peeled and cut into eighths
- 1 tablespoon local honey
- 1/2 teaspoon *powdered lavender
- Juice from half and orange
- salt and pepper to taste
In a sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the shallot and cook for 2 minutes. Add the turnip wedges and cook until they can easily be pierced with a fork. Add lavender, honey and orange juice to the pan and turn the heat up to high. Continuously stir the turnips in the pan until the liquid has reduced and glazed the turnips. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
*a note on powdered lavender: this is just crushed up lavender flowers, if you don’t have lavender in your landscaping, raid your neighbors’ yard or you can find this at GoodEarth in the bulk section.
Spicy Skillet Turnip Greens For when you’ve got a hankering for some southern hospitality. This side dish comes together quick and easy and partners well with cornbread, butter-beans and a tall iced tea. Also: this recipe calls for using olive oil, but if available, you might try this using bacon drippings instead.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2-3 scallions, cut into 2″ pieces
- 1 garlic scape, diced
- 1 bunch turnip greens, cleaned and chopped
- 1-2 Tbs water
- pinch brown sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes (adjust to preference)
- salt, just a bit
Drizzle olive oil into skillet over medium heat. Add onion and scape and cook until just tender, about 3 minutes. Then add ½ of turnip greens. Allow to cook down and add the remainder of the greens. Add water, brown sugar and red pepper flakes. Adjust the amount of red pepper to your personal taste. You might add just a bit of salt too.
Looking for more ideas? Check out this great article from GRIST for a recipe for Turnip Burgers (recipe from Food52.com), plus a whole list of other scrumptious suggestions. In the spring we make miso -a lot- it’s a great, quick and easy, way to enjoy spring greens, radishes, turnips, here’s a recipe from epicurious for miso with turnips and greens.