Know Your Produce? Baby White Turnips
Do the bunched greens with little white bulbs at the bottom make you nervous? Don’t worry. They are just baby white turnips, one of the oldest cultivated root crops in the world. If that didn’t ease your mind keep reading and get to know these delicious in season root vegetables and also a few simple methods of preparation. You can also find this information and more including recipes on our resource blog: www.brownboxsoil.wordpress.com
Turnips are ancient — one of the oldest cultivated root crops in the world. Unfortunately the large overgrown turnips that come late in the fall and winter for storage haven’t helped their reputation. Those turnips are more bitter and fibrous. These baby turnips are completely different. They are mellow and sweet. Even many people who thought they didn’t like turnips love the flavor of baby turnips. Besides the great flavor turnips also provide wonderful nutritional benefits. Turnips are especially high in Vitamin C.
Need a few ideas on how to prepare baby turnips? You don’t even need to peel them. Cut baby turnips into wedges and enjoy them raw with a dip or shave them into a salad. Pickle them in a sweet and salty brine. Sauté or stir-fry baby turnips with their greens. We love to dice them and throw them into vegetable fried rice. Sauté them whole or in wedges with butter and a spoonful of white miso until they are tender and glazed. Toss baby turnips with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and any other seasonings that you wish, then roast or grill them until just tender. Enjoy them after roasting or grilling as is, or toss them with a mustard and summer herb vinaigrette. Steam baby turnips in wedges (until just tender) along with their greens, and drizzle them with brown butter or a good olive oil to finish. Layer thin slices of turnips, their greens, and potatoes, then bake them into a creamy gratin. Their stem and leaves are also edible and are commonly boiled, steamed, stir-fried or chopped into salads.
Simple Side Dish #1
Directions: Toss 1 pound halved baby turnips and 10 ounces small white mushroom caps on a baking sheet with 2 teaspoons chopped rosemary. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive and season with salt and pepper. Turn the turnips cut-side down, then roast at 425 degrees F until golden and tender, 25 to 30 minutes.
Simple Side Dish #2
1 bunch baby white turnip 2 Tbsp Water 2 Tbsp White Wine 1 Tbsp Butter 1 Tbsp Olive Oil Salt & Pepper
Directions: Cut off the leafy greens leaving about an inch of the green stem attached to the turnips. Rinse the turnips under running water, then cut them in half or into quarters from stem to root depending on their size.
Fill a sink or big bowl with water and let the turnip greens soak for a few minutes. Swish them around allowing any dirt or sand sink to the bottom. Lift the greens out of the water and shake them off. Some water clinging to the leaves is fine. Slice the greens into thin strips.
Combine the water, wine, butter and olive oil in a sauté pan and bring to a simmer over medium high heat. Add the turnips along with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for about 5 minutes. Uncover and stir in the turnip greens adding 1/4 cup of water along with them and continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes until the greens are wilted but still bright green.