Kitchen Basics – Turnips Five Ways

Turnips. They can be challenging for some. With their bitter-sweet flavor, they can add a lot to a dish, especially when paired well. So I have some ideas for how to prepare them. In some, the turnips are the star. In others, they lend a great background note. In all, they’re a great addition to any menu plan.

Turnip Hash – Where Turnips are the Star

This was the first dish that I made with turnips where I really really liked them. Like I crave this dish, I make it as often as I can. I accept turnips from friends who don’t like them, so I can add this to my menu (although I should probably just encourage them to make this, or any of these dishes… selfish much?!). Turnips are totally the star here. Their sweet and bitter flavor is ever present. But, the bacon’s saltiness, the cheese’s creaminess, the runny egg yolk (at least that’s the way I prefer it), and the crunch from the other veggies, they all compliment the turnips so well that I almost can’t stand it.

Almost.

Grilled Cheese with Gruyère and Turnips

Wait, don’t leave… I think this is gonna be good. I’ve made grilled cheese sandwiches with apples and ham. So let’s change this up a bit. The key here is that you’re gonna sauté the turnips first, so they won’t be raw. While you’re at it, throw some greens (turnip greens if you have ’em), some salt, and a splash of maple syrup into the pan. Spread some olive oil or butter on the bread, add a sprinkle of salt. Top the bread with gruyère, some dijon mustard, and the turnips and greens. Then grill it all up until the bread is crispy and browned and the cheese is melted.

Serve this with a Creamy Mushroom and Turnip Soup (totally acceptable to dip your grilled cheese in soup!). Sauté some mushrooms, turnips, potatoes, and onion (and ya know, salt and pepper). Add some garlic, thyme, and savory. Add some stock. Cook until everything is tender. Add some cream, and parsley. You could blend this up for a creamy soup, or leave it as is. But, for sure serve it with these sandwiches.

Mashed Turnips and Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are great. Fabulous. Love them. So why not spice them up a bit. I’m thinking that adding turnips and carrots would be a fabulous idea. Maybe even some rutabagas too? And parsnips? Why not?! Here’s what I’d do: Steam the veggies (whatever you’ve got on hand of those listed). Mash to desired lumpiness. Add olive oil or butter, milk/cream/yogurt/sour cream/buttermilk/almond milk, chives, roasted garlic, salt, and pepper. Done. Let’s eat!

Turnip Fries with Homemade Ketchup

The other week I wrote about Green Bean Fries with Ketchup. They were tasty. I’ve heard that they’re a hit with grownups and kids alike. So let’s try something else in this style: turnips! Slice like you would a potato that you were going to treat as a French fry. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast at 425F for 10 minutes, flip, and roast for about 7-15 minutes more (or until they’re crispy). Blend the “ketchup” ingredients from the Green Bean Fries recipe and dip away!

Stir Fry with Turnips Almonds and Tofu

Turnips pair well with greens, carrots, tofu, and almonds. So I think they’d be great added to the Red Choi Stir Fry with Almonds and Tofu. Or, try this: stir fry some turnips, carrots, garlic, leeks or onions, mushrooms, peas, kohl rabi, turnip greens, and tofu. Add some soy sauce and sesame seeds. Serve with chopped almonds and parsley, over your favorite rice or rice noodles.

So, those are my suggestions. If you want to come up with your own dish, here are some things that turnips pair well with: Parsley, carrots, gruyère, lemon, parmesan, chives, garlic, thyme, leeks, butter, lentils, potatoes, cream, dill, winter squash, greens, mushrooms, onions, parsnips, bread, ginger, balsamic vinegar. (1) Be sure to let us know what you create!

Happy Eating!

(1) Paring ideas from The Vegetarian Flavor Bible.

Author Rachel Oberg

More posts by Rachel Oberg

Leave a Reply