Turnips are one of those veggies that are often overlooked and have a bad rap, but really, they deserve a lot of attention. They are so delicious, and I love that even though they are starchy, they have about a third of the calories of the same volume of potatoes. Turnips are loaded with nutrients, cheap, and both the greens and roots are delicious. I love when you can use every part of a veggie!
Turnips are perfect to use if you want to get soups creamy without actually using cream – you can just add a turnip to the other veggies in there, and pureed it adds a silk creaminess to the soup. I have a recipe for “Cream” of Asparagus Soup here and you won’t BELIEVE there’s no cream in there!
You can also use them pretty much any way you’d use potatoes – to make fries, roasted, mashed turnips, or what I’m going to show you below – roasted turnip puree.
Just for kicks, some of the nutritional benefits are:
- Roots (the white part): Vitamin C, B6, E; Folic Acid, Manganese, Fiber, Potassium.
- Greens: Vitamin A, B6, E, Folic Acid, Calcium, Copper, Fiber, Manganese.
Turnips are all over the farmers markets these days so I picked up a bunch this past weekend and was looking forward to having them because it’s been ages since the last time!
Roasted Turnip Puree
To start, you want to use a sharp knife to separate the roots from the greens.
After you’ve separated the roots from the greens, slice the green part that’s left on the root away.
Also slice off the small root growing off the bottom and you’ll be left with mostly round turnips.
Now, you want to peel them. The skin comes off really easily if you use a vegetable peeler, but do it carefully so you don’t take away too much of the root itself.
Now the turnips are ready to be sliced up into mostly even pieces.
The pieces will brown at this stage if you leave them out too long, so make sure you place them in water if you’re not cooking them for a while.
Coat them with a little olive oil spray (or the real deal), salt, and pepper, and place them in your 400 degree preheated oven.
Roast them until they are golden brown, about 30-40 minutes, turning once.
Let the roasted turnips cool slightly, and then place them in a blender and blend blend blend until they are completely smooth.
You can add a touch of olive oil if you like, but they are so creamy without adding anything!
For the greens
Cut the bottoms off the greens so that most of the stemmy part is removed (yes, that’s a technical term).
Discard the stemmy parts, and then cut the leaves roughly in half so that the thinner part is separated from the leafy greens.
For the thin part of the leaves, cut them up into roughly centimeter pieces. For the leaves, stack them on top of each other, fold them in half, and slice them a little thicker, like this:
Repeat until all of the greens have been cut and are ready to cook!
For these, I steamed them in a wok for about 15-20 minutes (longer than you’d think to break them down a bit) and then added a splash of white vinegar and a touch of salt. Simple as that!
Wil prepared some red trout, which looks just like salmon, to go with the turnip puree and turnip greens.
While the fish was outstanding (with a mustard vinaigrette), the roasted turnip puree was definitely the highlight of the dish. I couldn’t get over how smooth and creamy it was, and though Wil was proud of his fish, he agreed the puree was the best part of our dinner! The greens were very good, too and were a perfect contrast to the creamy puree.
Have you ever had turnips? Love ‘em or hate ‘em? What’s a veggie that traditionally gets a bad rap but you like?