HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >

Ode to Turnips

c
cimui Dec 15, 2008 08:39 PM

I picked up some turnips at the farmer's market this weekend. These are true gems of vegetables, all creamy white and amethyst, as dense in the hand as one of Paris's golden apples. And the flavor is amazing: sweet, earthy, just the teeniest bit bitter, but juicy and tender through and through. They are so completely perfect in their unadulterated state that I've been slicing them and eating them pounds at a time with just a sprinkling of sea salt.

Fellow turnip lovers: How do you love them? Mashed with butter? Baked in a pie? Let us count the ways....

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. t
    The Turtle Bay Dove RE: cimui Dec 16, 2008 05:25 AM

    Mmmm. Roasted!

    1 Reply
    1. re: The Turtle Bay Dove
      c
      cimui RE: The Turtle Bay Dove Dec 17, 2008 06:54 PM

      mmm indeed! this is one of those foods i have to make in moderation. i really could eat myself sick when it comes to roasted turnips.

    2. m
      mwright RE: cimui Dec 16, 2008 06:49 AM

      Mashed, with roast beef and gravy

      2 Replies
      1. re: mwright
        m
        mwright RE: mwright Dec 16, 2008 11:01 AM

        oh, and they are my secret ingredient in many "brothy" soups -- grate them up very fine and add them to oriental type soup stocks, French onion soup, etc. The vegetable will "disappear' but a nice, rich flavour will remain.

        1. re: mwright
          c
          cimui RE: mwright Dec 17, 2008 06:55 PM

          clever -- i never thought to grate them into soups, before, though i do love when they get all melty in soups and stews.

      2. Phoo_d RE: cimui Dec 16, 2008 06:54 AM

        In a creamy puree with ripe pears, russet potatoes and a touch of heavy cream and butter. It is an unbeatable side dish for prime rib!
        Phoo-D
        http://www.phoo-d.com

        1 Reply
        1. re: Phoo_d
          c
          cimui RE: Phoo_d Dec 17, 2008 06:57 PM

          i love this dish, too -- though i make mine with more than a touch of heavy cream and butter. it also makes a lovely, lovely 'bed' for apple cider-glazed pork chop.

        2. JungMann RE: cimui Dec 16, 2008 07:12 AM

          Boiled then mashed with butter, bacon fat and plenty of pepper
          Stewed with chicken in curried peanut butter sauce
          Curried with lamb in Shabdeg

          5 Replies
          1. re: JungMann
            1sweetpea RE: JungMann Dec 16, 2008 08:18 AM

            I also like to peel and eat them raw. I throw cubes in soups and stews in place of the starchier and less nutritious potato. I also have a guilty passion for those fluorescent pink Lebanese pickled turnips.

            1. re: 1sweetpea
              j
              jlafler RE: 1sweetpea Dec 17, 2008 06:01 PM

              Do you have a recipe for the pickled turnips? I am on a pickling tear lately.

            2. re: JungMann
              c
              cimui RE: JungMann Dec 17, 2008 05:49 PM

              shabdeg sounds sooooo good. i've never had any desi dishes that included turnips. do you have a recipe to share (or a restaurant in nyc to recommend)?

              1. re: cimui
                JungMann RE: cimui Dec 18, 2008 06:43 AM

                Dawat used to have it on their menu, which is appropriate since I found the recipe in a Madhur Jaffrey book (father was not really one for turnips... or plant life in general). I'll have to see if I can dig up the recipe. It's somewhat akin to Kashmiri rogan josh with turnips if I recall correctly.

                1. re: JungMann
                  c
                  cimui RE: JungMann Dec 18, 2008 09:37 AM

                  i have a bunch of jaffrey's really old cookbooks kickin' around on my bookshelf. i'll take a look, too. don't go to the trouble if it's not in easy access! thanks, jungmann!

            3. j
              jarona RE: cimui Dec 16, 2008 08:51 AM

              mashed with rutabegas and mashed potatoes then fried in butter the next day.
              Or.....roasted with Parsnips. Parsnips are another gem!

              1 Reply
              1. re: jarona
                c
                cimui RE: jarona Dec 17, 2008 06:00 PM

                parsnips!! i do also love those. have you seen the gourmet magazine recipe for carmelized parsnips with muscadet vinegar? i made it for thanksgiving this year. amazing.

              2. Karl S RE: cimui Dec 16, 2008 11:05 AM

                I prefer rutabagas/swedes to white turnips. Peeled, cubed, steamed/boiled, put through a ricer - with potatoes and apples added, this becomes a version of Himmel und Erde (Heaven and Earth - apples for paradise, the root vegetables for earth).

                1 Reply
                1. re: Karl S
                  c
                  cimui RE: Karl S Dec 17, 2008 05:58 PM

                  a beautiful, romantic name, himmel und erde.

                2. c
                  cheesecake17 RE: cimui Dec 16, 2008 11:15 AM

                  roasted with carrots and parsnips or panfried

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: cheesecake17
                    c
                    cimui RE: cheesecake17 Dec 17, 2008 06:58 PM

                    strangely, i have never once tried them pan fried. i bet that is amazing, esp. with some carmelized onions.

                    1. re: cimui
                      c
                      cheesecake17 RE: cimui Dec 18, 2008 09:59 AM

                      It's delicious. Slice them into thin rounds and panfry in a little bit of oil. Sprinkle with salt when they're done. I used to eat them all the time like this as a kid.

                      1. re: cheesecake17
                        c
                        cimui RE: cheesecake17 Dec 18, 2008 04:09 PM

                        cheesecake, not so healthy, but i'm making them in a pan with butter as we speak. they're browning up nicely. thank you!

                        1. re: cimui
                          c
                          cheesecake17 RE: cimui Dec 19, 2008 05:49 AM

                          how did you like it? i spoke to my mother last night, and she mentioned that she slices the turnips really thin and panfries them in cooking spray. I havent tried it.. but it sounded yummy

                          1. re: cheesecake17
                            c
                            cimui RE: cheesecake17 Dec 19, 2008 06:14 AM

                            the flavor? delectable! (how can you go wrong with turnips and butter?) next time, i will slice them more thinly, though -- these took forever to cook through!

                            1. re: cimui
                              c
                              cheesecake17 RE: cimui Dec 19, 2008 06:40 AM

                              the thinner you slice them the better. have you ever made turnip pickles?

                  2. Pat Hammond RE: cimui Dec 16, 2008 11:19 AM

                    My sister serves this turnip salad:
                    A few (maybe 3) peeled and very thinly sliced raw turnips
                    Add to turnips, 1/4 cup (or less) minced shallot, 3 T. white wine vinegar, salt and pepper
                    Mix well

                    Add 3, or whatever looks right, tablespoons of sour cream. Mix that well. Chill

                    Her boyfrend was heard to say: "What the hell is this? It's good!"

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Pat Hammond
                      rozz01 RE: Pat Hammond Dec 16, 2008 12:35 PM

                      I like them in a veggie shepherd's pie. Roast turnips, crimini and brussels and cover w/mashed potatoes. The mushrooms and turnips play great together...

                      1. re: Pat Hammond
                        c
                        cimui RE: Pat Hammond Dec 17, 2008 06:59 PM

                        polish preparation? sounds very similar to what a polish friend does with cucumber.

                      2. cassoulady RE: cimui Dec 16, 2008 04:21 PM

                        I love turnips all ways but my go to way to turn someone on to turnips who claims they hate them ( and I seem to encounter a lot of thse people) is Jacques et Julia cooking at Home glazed carrots and turnips. I have all my non turnip eaters over with this then can try other things.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: cassoulady
                          c
                          cimui RE: cassoulady Dec 17, 2008 07:09 PM

                          another fellow pro-turnip social activist! =) i'm quite proud of myself for converting my SO's mom (very picky eater) just recently. i made a gratin with potatoes and didn't tell her what she was eating until after.

                        2. Passadumkeg RE: cimui Dec 16, 2008 05:44 PM

                          Finnish pear and turnip pie. Wow!

                          7 Replies
                          1. re: Passadumkeg
                            c
                            cimui RE: Passadumkeg Dec 17, 2008 05:47 PM

                            wowie... that does sound good. is it sweet or savory?

                            1. re: cimui
                              Passadumkeg RE: cimui Dec 17, 2008 06:35 PM

                              Dessert. A single crust pie w/ alternate pear & turnip slices in concentric circles. There is also a pear and turnip sauce.

                              1. re: Passadumkeg
                                c
                                cimui RE: Passadumkeg Dec 17, 2008 06:52 PM

                                ok, my friend, you're going to HAVE to post a recipe. i googled for one and couldn't find anything at all. and definitely this sounds too interesting not to try. rough guidelines would work as well. i'm willing to experiment!

                                1. re: cimui
                                  Passadumkeg RE: cimui Dec 18, 2008 02:20 AM

                                  I went to look for my Finnish cookbook salt night, but we are remodeling and they are in boxes. I'll give another lok tonight.

                                  1. re: Passadumkeg
                                    p
                                    phoenikia RE: Passadumkeg Sep 26, 2009 08:42 PM

                                    Passadumkeg, would you be able to post the Finnish pear and turnip pie recipe, if you can find it? I tried googling pear and turnip pie, and I couldn't find any online versions of the recipe.

                                    1. re: phoenikia
                                      Passadumkeg RE: phoenikia Sep 26, 2009 09:39 PM

                                      I'll try to find it. It's in an old Finnish cookbook.

                                      1. re: Passadumkeg
                                        p
                                        phoenikia RE: Passadumkeg Sep 27, 2009 01:12 PM

                                        thanks so much;)

                          2. Gio RE: cimui Dec 16, 2008 05:51 PM

                            I love those teeny tiny purple and white beauties. Usually I add them to a braise, roast them with other root veggies, or just peel, slice thinly and add to a salad.

                            Sorry - I have just been reminded of the Black Adder for just a mo. Gotta go snicker.

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: Gio
                              Passadumkeg RE: Gio Dec 16, 2008 06:03 PM

                              Black Adder! Blaaack Adder, Black AAAdeeer!

                              I you grow turnips, cover with netting when young to prevent turnip maggots.

                              Black Adder would love turnip maggots.

                              1. re: Passadumkeg
                                Gio RE: Passadumkeg Dec 16, 2008 06:31 PM

                                I knew you would relate.....
                                By the by, Remay is the netting I use. Gardner's Supply in Burlington VT sells it. Works a treat.

                              2. re: Gio
                                c
                                cimui RE: Gio Dec 17, 2008 07:03 PM

                                alright, spill it. what's the story with black adder and turnips?

                                1. re: cimui
                                  Gio RE: cimui Dec 18, 2008 02:49 AM

                                  If you have never seen the Black Adder series from BBC on PBS you can't visualize the characters.... but this tells the story:
                                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beer_(Bl...

                                  Rowan Atkinson starred as the BA...Hugh Lawrie and Stephen Fry were regulars too. Absolutely hilarious series.
                                  http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/blackadder/

                                  1. re: Gio
                                    c
                                    cimui RE: Gio Dec 18, 2008 04:22 PM

                                    i have seen the show, just not this evidently famous episode. i probably won't be looking in my dinner in quite the same way. ;)

                              3. j
                                jlafler RE: cimui Dec 16, 2008 09:03 PM

                                Raw, roasted, braised. Most recently, I included them in a dish of braised short ribs. (Beef and turnips is a surprisingly good combination.) My husband had carelessly discarded the greens, or I would have used those in the braise, too. Turnips stew nicely and meld well with other flavors.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: jlafler
                                  c
                                  cimui RE: jlafler Dec 17, 2008 07:01 PM

                                  bad husband! i, too, love the greens. it's surprisingly hard to find around here. even the farmer's markets sell the turnips decapitated.

                                  1. re: cimui
                                    j
                                    jlafler RE: cimui Dec 17, 2008 10:20 PM

                                    He's usually a pretty good husband, so I will try to educate him about turnip greens. He knows about beet greens, but these were rather wilted and raggedy, so I can see why he thought they were compost.

                                    1. re: jlafler
                                      c
                                      cimui RE: jlafler Dec 18, 2008 04:20 PM

                                      love the man, hate the beet greens thrower outer. ;)

                                2. c
                                  cimui RE: cimui Dec 17, 2008 05:58 PM

                                  wow, so many great preps, here. i don't know if this batch will be as good as the one from the farmer's market, but i was so inspired by the suggestions in this thread that i picked up another five pounds from the grocery store. thanks for the wonderful suggestions!

                                  1. goodhealthgourmet RE: cimui Dec 17, 2008 06:15 PM

                                    roasted is definitely my favorite preparation. turnips AND parsnips place high on the list of the most underrated foods.

                                    7 Replies
                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                      c
                                      cimui RE: goodhealthgourmet Dec 17, 2008 07:04 PM

                                      and turnips and parsnips, together? *heaven* =)

                                      1. re: cimui
                                        d
                                        dmd_kc RE: cimui Dec 17, 2008 09:31 PM

                                        Add a rutabaga and now we're talking.

                                        Rutabagas are the turnip's aristocratic aunt.

                                        1. re: dmd_kc
                                          goodhealthgourmet RE: dmd_kc Dec 18, 2008 01:24 PM

                                          yes please - i'll take all three :)

                                          if i didn't have several other veggies that i need to use up for dinner tonight, i'd be on my way to the market to buy them right now!

                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                            goodhealthgourmet RE: goodhealthgourmet Dec 18, 2008 05:26 PM

                                            oh, and add celery root to the mix while we're at it.

                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                              Passadumkeg RE: goodhealthgourmet Dec 18, 2008 05:31 PM

                                              Swede (yelloe turnip) and potatoes too. We grow them all. They do well in Maine's northern climate. We still have some kale in the garden and harvested the Brussel sprouts just a couple of weeks ago.

                                              1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                j
                                                jlafler RE: Passadumkeg Dec 18, 2008 07:15 PM

                                                Hmm, I always thought "swede" was a rutabaga.

                                                In junior high our choir sang a very silly song about rutabagas, which I remember mainly because I got teased mercilessly for using the word "hybrid" when someone asked me what a rutabaga was.

                                                1. re: jlafler
                                                  Karl S RE: jlafler Dec 19, 2008 03:37 AM

                                                  Rutabaga, swede and yellow turnip are all names for the same thing.

                                                  Better than white turnip, if you ask me.

                                    2. Bat Guano RE: cimui Dec 18, 2008 07:10 AM

                                      Oh, the little baby Japanese turnips that occasionally turn up at my farmer's market are just amazingly good! Either raw or lightly steamed, with a sprinkle of salt and pepper, maybe a bit of butter melted onto them - sweet and delicious; and don't forget the greens!

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Bat Guano
                                        c
                                        cimui RE: Bat Guano Dec 18, 2008 04:36 PM

                                        oh, right! i always think of these as radishes, since they're so teeny and cute, but i think you're right that they are turnips. they're also great after a few hours of bathing with rice wine vinegar, salt and sugar.

                                      2. cassoulady RE: cimui Dec 18, 2008 04:05 PM

                                        Turnips, like beets an brussel sprouts are something i think a lot people remember hating as a child but when they they have them well prepared they love them. I so look forward to fall to eating turnips.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: cassoulady
                                          c
                                          cimui RE: cassoulady Dec 18, 2008 04:59 PM

                                          the funny thing is that i remember my mom hating turnips when i was a kid, but my friend and i would pull them out of the ground on his farm and eat them just like that (after a cursory rub on our t-shirts). i can't tell you how much that grossed out my mom.

                                          1. re: cimui
                                            Passadumkeg RE: cimui Dec 18, 2008 05:52 PM

                                            When I lived in Norway, my landlord would pull up 2 turnips from the ground cut off the tops and give them a quick clean in the sea and we'd chomp on them like a couple of apples while rowing out to check our gill nets. This is how i learned to love turnips!

                                        2. Scargod RE: cimui Dec 20, 2008 01:52 PM

                                          Just had fantastic turnips stewed in chicken stock with carmelized onions and bacon bits. Fantastic. Oh, I said that already.....

                                          1. e
                                            Erdorou RE: cimui Sep 2, 2009 01:48 PM

                                            We grew our own this year and they're fabulous raw. They got a bit large, so I used thin slices like crackers (low carb diet) with Hungarian salami. Also makes a great salad with grated apple and lots of fresh mint, a bit of french tarragon and lemon juice and sugar for dressing.

                                             
                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Erdorou
                                              c
                                              cimui RE: Erdorou Sep 27, 2009 07:49 PM

                                              How funny. I was just chopping some turnips for stew and kimchi, eating almost as much raw turnip by the thin, salted slice as I put into the stuff I'm purportedly making. Stopped in to Chowhound to find this thread. Nice to see this old geezer revived. :)

                                              Never thought of turnip slices as potential stand-ins for crackers, but now that you mention it, it makes perfect sense. Maybe I can turn my diabetic FIL on to 'em... And maybe I could dehydrate slices in the oven for "chips"!

                                            2. shaogo RE: cimui Sep 27, 2009 01:29 PM

                                              We're torn -- sometimes we boil 'em and mash 'em (with carrots and a bit of onion added to the mash) -- but more often I dice into 1/4" cubes and saute in butter (this after soaking the cubes in cold water for 20 mins.).

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: shaogo
                                                c
                                                cimui RE: shaogo Sep 27, 2009 07:50 PM

                                                Mmm mmm mmm. Sounds good to me. Do you soak beforehand to keep the turnip crisp after sauteeing?

                                              2. j
                                                jcarlile RE: cimui Sep 28, 2009 01:53 AM

                                                Though I love plain roasted turnips, I sometimes like to make them with a more asian flair -- peel and cut turnips into bit size pieces, then either roast or steam (add a little mirin to the water if you want), and toss with a mixture of half butter / half red miso and sprinkle with a little furikake or gomasio.

                                                Show Hidden Posts