Today’s post is dedicated to a new-to-me veggie that I’ve recently let in to my life: turnips.
My attempts to branch out in the world of vegetables led me to consider the turnip as a suitable next step after parsnips went over so well.
My Grandma used to make turnips for holiday dinners and my Mom continues to do the same yet they were never something I opted to try. I decided it was time to put my big girl pants on and give them a go.
TURNIPS: WHAT ARE THEY?
“Although the turnip has been grown for more than 4,000 years and was one of the first foods to be cultivated in Europe, it is currently underappreciated: It keeps well, takes to almost any cooking method, and has a subtly flavored, tasty flesh.” – Cooking Light
- Member of the cruciferous family (broccoli, collards, kale, Brussels sprouts)
- Season: year-round (peak Oct-Feb)
- Good source of calcium, magnesium, potassium and vitamin C
- While the turnip root is considered a starchy vegetable, it contains only 1/3 the calories of potato
- Turnips contain a category of phytonutrients called indoles which may reduce the risk for lung and colorectal cancers
TURNIPS: HOW TO EAT THEM
Steaming is apparently the optimal choice as it allows you to get the maximum nutrients possible. Water soluble vitamins (such as vit C) can dissolve away in the water if you go the boiling route.
Whether you choose to boil or steam you will produce soft, tender pieces which can be mashed up just like potatoes.
I was under the assumption all these years that turnips were bitter and tangy. While they can certainly be (more so than parsnips that’s for sure) the flavor is a lot more mild than I anticipated. In fact they can be used in both sweet AND savory dishes.
My Mom’s go-to has always been to top mashed turnip with butter and brown sugar. While home visiting this past weekend Mom made them for me with a bit of butter and maple syrup. The result? Fantastic.
Other ways I’ve come across include:
- Olive oil & fresh rosemary/thyme
- Butter, salt, pepper, bacon & chives
- Just salt & pepper
TURNIPS ON PINTEREST
Have I sparked your interest? Want to let turnips into YOUR life? Here are some recipes I came across that you might want to check out:
Besides steaming and boiling you can also bake them. This recipe has simple ingredients…probably things you already have in your kitchen.
Another simple preparation. Salt? Pepper? Paprika? Common pantry staples.
I personally would have to leave out the onion, but this combination of veggies sounds too good to pass up!
So go ahead. Give them a try!
I want to know…
Have you ever tried turnip?
How did you cook it?
Information for this post compiled from: