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Nov 22, 2010 03:53 AM

Where to Buy Turnip Greens [London]

Has anyone here seen turnip greens for sale in or near London? I've seen plenty of turnips with the tops lopped off, but none with the greens still attached.

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  1. Find a market or a greengrocer and ask them for the turnip greens.

    There's even a chance that Tesco or Sainsbury could find you some if you were ask them.

    1. I will be keen to hear any answers to this too. I can't figure out why greens (turnip, beet, mustard, chard) are so hard to come by in London. I have not found a shop or market that stocks them reliably. It's usually the case of finding them by chance.

      1 Reply
      1. re: gemuse

        They (and other "greens") are hard to come by in any supermarket or regular veg shop/stall because most British people wouldn't have a clue what to do with them these days, they also don't lend themselves to being neatly pre-packed, and I suspect their often bitter flavour is off trend when compared to the "sweet" modern veg.

        I used to buy my greens from Bath Farmers Market (sorry a long trip from London) and here a couple of the farm stalls (i.e. they sold their own produce) would generally have a greens of one type or another. Where are the true farmers markets in London (I don't count Borough as it is a bit commercial)?

      2. I asked a vegetable stall holder (Blackheath) this question on Sunday. She said that mustard greens were sometimes available but that she didn't have any that day. I think Chinese supermarkets often have mustard greens. I haven't ever cooked with beet greens but do know a farmer who sells fresh beets so she's bound to have the greens. How would you cook those? Re chard, the farmer mentioned above has it regularly. She has a stall in Peckham Sunday market outside the library.

        6 Replies
        1. re: cathodetube

          Will have to get over to the Peckham market then. It just frustrates me that I have to make a special trip to find good greens. Beet greens are among my favourite of the greens, because they cook up the most quickly and the most tender of all the greens. Sometimes they can have a strong beety flavour (especially if you use most of the stems), but they usually have only a subtle beet taste. I prepare them sauteed in olive oil with a squeeze of lemon at the end. You can toss some garlic in, but I suggest using just a crushed bulb rather than minced garlic, as it can easily overpower the gentleness of these greens. Also fantastic in soups or asian-style, with a drip of sesame oil.

          1. re: gemuse

            I usually see chard whenever I go to a market with a decent vegetable selection (Borough, Notting Hill, Oval). Lots of decent 'natural' grocers often have it too (As Nature Intended, Whole Foods, Earth Natural Foods, The Grocery on Kingsland Rd). I've never seen it in one of the major UK chains.

            There was a stand at Borough Market that sold really good greens including mustard greens and chard this spring, but I wonder if she's out of season now.

            As for beet greens, I got some at Notting Hill Gate Farmers' Market last Saturday. I'd never looked for them before, so I don't know how common they are in markets.

            Still haven't seen turnip greens anywhere, though! Going to look more this weekend.

            1. re: jrl78

              I think Waitrose also has chard as have seen it there before. I don't shop there regularly however. I went through a stage of making a Nigel Slater spelt risotto and that called for chard so I bought it a lot from local farmer's market. I also used it in veg soups and cooked it with eggs for breakfast.

              1. re: cathodetube


                No turnip greens, but these guys deliver all sorts of greens depending on the time of year, as well as other food goodies.

                1. re: damien76

                  That place looks great, thanks!

                  1. re: jrl78

                    No problem. I cannot vouch for their service yet, but when I get round to it I'm going to try some of their bottarga and bergemots (now there's a mouthful!).

                    Please report back your experience if you do try them. I think there's a free delivery code on this page for first time customers:

                    Also if your in the habit of using cashback websites for online purchases 'Topcashback' has a further 7% off your bill.

        2. I too would be highly interested in knowing a source for turnip greens, which are popular in Italy, and should be here. I've combed Borough Market for them, but without success. The best thing to do with turnip greens, as with beetroot tops (which are more easliy obtainable) is to make minestrone soup - use garlic, fennel, herbs and carrots with plenty of leafy veg, including tops such as your beet tops and trunip tops - if you could find them. Lovely, and highly nutiritious - vegetable tops, especially beetroot, are packed with vitamins and minerals. We could try suggesting the idea to the supermakets - but I once tried suggesting they stock purslane, and none got back to me (that's another one - anyone know where you can get purslane? Very rich in omega-3 oils).

          1 Reply
          1. re: Lord Brazing

            stewed. With a chunk of smoked ham and a shot of Tabasco. That is all.