Tune in to Turnips!!
Turnips, like their close cousins rutabaga and kohlrabi, are tasty root vegetables that add heartiness and fabulous nutrition to your meals. Turnips have a mild flavor and potato-like texture when cooked, making them ideal for side dishes, soups, stews, and casseroles.
However, turnips can also be eaten raw in salads or coleslaw, eaten in sprouted form, or you can even add them into your fermented vegetable recipe. While the root is most popular in the US, turnip greens can be eaten too (and they’re full of nutrition as well).
Turnips are very low calorie root vegetables; contains only 28 calories per 100 grams. However, they are very good source of antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and dietary fiber.
Fresh roots are indeed one of the vegetables rich in vitamin C; they provide about 35% of your Daily Recommended Allowance. Vitamin C is a powerful water-soluble antioxidant required by the body for synthesis of collagen. It also helps the body prevent cancer, reduce inflammation, and boost immunity.
Turnip greens indeed are the storehouse of many vital nutrients. The greens are very rich in antioxidants like vitamin A, vitamin C, carotenoid, and lutein. In addition, the leafy-tops are an excellent source of vitamin K.
Here are four quick and easy ways to prepare turnips and turnip greens.
Sautéed Turnips and Greens
Cook peeled and cut-up turnips and sliced garlic in olive oil in a large skillet until tender. Add the turnip greens and cook until just wilted. Season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Roasted Turnips With Ginger
Peel and cut turnips into wedges. Toss with sliced fresh ginger, canola oil, salt, and pepper on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with honey and roast at 400°F until tender.
Mashed Turnips With Crispy Bacon
Simmer peeled and cut-up turnips in boiling salted water until tender. Drain and mash with butter, salt, and pepper. Fold in crumbled cooked bacon and chopped chives; top with shaved Parmesan.
Creamy Leek and Turnip Soup
Cook thinly sliced leeks in butter in a large saucepan until soft. Add peeled and cut-up turnips and enough chicken broth to cover. Simmer until very tender. Puree until smooth, adding water or broth as necessary to adjust the consistency. Season with salt and pepper.
Quick Pickled Turnips
- 3 or 4 small turnips (about 12 ounces), peeled and very thinly sliced
- ½ cup quartered and thinly sliced red onion
- 3 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
- 1 cup white-wine vinegar
- 1 cup hot water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 10 whole black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
- Layer turnips, onion and garlic in a quart jar (or similar 4-cup container) with a lid.
- Whisk vinegar, hot water, sugar, peppercorns, salt and crushed red pepper (if using) in a medium bowl until the sugar is mostly dissolved. Pour the mixture over the vegetables. Put the lid on and gently shake a few times to distribute the flavorings. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes for the flavors to develop.
Yields 2½ cups. Each serving contains: 12 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 3 g carbohydrate, 0 g protein, 1 g fiber, 52 mg sodium, 73 mg potassium.
Root Vegetable Gratin
- 3 pounds assorted root vegetables, peeled cut into ⅛-inch-thick slices
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 cup thinly sliced shallots
- 1⅓ cups low-fat milk, divided
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1½ cups finely shredded Gruyère or Swiss cheese, divided
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup fresh whole-wheat breadcrumbs
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
- If using parsnips, quarter lengthwise and remove the woody core before cutting into ⅛-inch thick slices. Cook vegetables in a large pot of boiling water until barely tender, about 5 minutes. Drain.
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until light brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add 1 cup milk and bring to a simmer. Combine flour and the remaining ⅓ cup milk in a small bowl to make a smooth paste; stir into the hot milk and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce bubbles and thickens, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in ¾ cup cheese, thyme, salt and pepper.
- Combine breadcrumbs, the remaining ¾ cup cheese and 1 tablespoon oil in a bowl.
- Layer the vegetable slices in the prepared baking dish. Pour the cheese sauce over the top and top with the breadcrumb mixture.
- Bake the gratin until it is bubbling and the top is golden, 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
- Beets, carrots and parsnips are easily peeled with a vegetable peeler, but for tougher-skinned roots like celeriac, rutabaga and turnips, removing the peel with a knife can be easier. Cut off one end of the root to create a flat surface to keep it steady on the cutting board. Follow the contour of the vegetable with your knife. If you use a vegetable peeler on the tougher roots, peel around each vegetable at least three times to ensure all the fibrous skin has been removed.
- To make fresh breadcrumbs, trim crusts from country-style whole-wheat bread. Tear bread into pieces and process in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. One slice of bread makes about ½ cup crumbs.
Serves 8. Each serving contains: 276 calories, 13 g fat, 25 mg cholesterol, 30 g carbohydrate, 12 g protein, 6 g fiber, 357 mg sodium, 604 mg potassium.
Chicken Stew with Turnips and Mushrooms
- 1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
- ½ teaspoon salt, divided
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 large turnips (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 4 cups chopped kale
- 3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon fresh chopped rosemary
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons water
- Cut chicken into 1-inch pieces and sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
- Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pot. Add turnips, mushrooms, onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is limp, 3 to 5 minutes. Add wine and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in kale, broth and rosemary. Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pot; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook, stirring once or twice, until the turnips are tender, about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, mix cornstarch and water in a small bowl. Stir the mixture into the stew and cook until thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and season the stew with the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt.
Serves 6. Each serving contains: 239 calories, 7 g fat, 52 g cholesterol, 17 g carbohydrate, 0 g sugars, 24 g protein, 3 g fiber, 581 mg sodium, 787 mg potassium.