Not only is this root vegetable easy to grow, but it keeps well, too. Because
of this, turnips have long been popular in Great Britain and northern Europe. The white fleshed turnip has a white skin with a purple tinged top. Small, young turnips have a delicate, slightly sweet taste. As they age, however, their taste becomes stronger and their texture coarser, sometimes almost woody.
You will find seeds for turnips and the turnip greens in the Garden Shop at Orchard.
For best quality, fertilize before planting and keep soil moist. Turnips grow best in light soil, so amend well.
When harvesting, the roots should be firm and the greens bright-colored and fresh looking. The turnip shoulders should be about 1.5 - 3 inches in diameter at the soil line.
Turnips can grow well in containers and they are easy for kids to grow.
Though turnips can be refrigerated, tightly wrapped, for two weeks, they do best in a cool, well ventilated area.
Before using, they should be washed, trimmed and peeled.
Turnips may be boiled or steamed, then mashed or pureed. The can also be stir-fried, cubed and tossed with butter, or used raw in salads.
Turnips are a fair source of vitamin C and potassium.
If you are in London and looking for a great place to eat for your last meal to celebrate, go to Simpson's; sometimes they have the roasted root vegetables as a side and it is fabulous.
Creamy Turnip Hash
1 large turnip
2 tablespoons of butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon parsley
2 fluid oz. cream
Peel turnip and chop into small pieces. Boil until tender, drain and return to pan. (mash if desired, or leave chunky) Add butter, seasoning and cream, Let boil up once and serve.
Turnip French Fries
Chop the turnip into french-fry strips and (if you wish) lightly coat with oil. Place on a flat baking sheet and sprinkle with sea salt.
Bake at 180 - 190 C for about 20 minutes.
Try some different seasonings: dried parsley and basil, a little sea salt or a touch of cayenne.
Italian Turnip Rice Soup with Parmesan Cheese, serves 6
This elegant soup has a flavor that sharpens the appetite in unexpected ways.
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound of turnip peeled and cut into a 1/2 inch dice
3 pints of chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 cup of rice, arborio if you have it
salt and pepper
Garnish: minced parsley and 3 to 4 ounces parmesan cheese cup fresh grated parmesan cheese.
Melt the butter and oil in a large saucepan and bring to a froth. Toss the turnips and sauté until brown, about 5 minutes or so. Pour in the stock, bring it a boil, reduce the heat and cook, covered, for about 10 minutes. Stir in the rice and parsley and 1 to 2 ounces of parmesan.
Ladle into bowls and pass the extra parmesan separately.
Country-style Turnip Greens, serves 6
2 slices of bacon
1 extra large onion, chopped
5 pounds fresh turnip greens, up to 6
1 1/2 cups water
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
In a heavy skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and drain well on paper towels.
Remove all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the skillet. Add the onion to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Wash turnip greens thoroughly, dry well, and remove stems. Tear greens into salad-like pieces and place in a large pot along with the water, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Break the bacon pieces. Remove the greens from the heat, stir in the bacon and onions. Serve at once.