Taste of the South: Turnip Greens

No meal is complete without a side of greens. Turnip greens are a favorite in Southern homes. Try our turnip greens recipes for a great side dish tonight.

Turnip Greens Recipes

Greens are a staple for most Southerners-collards, kale, and especiall turnip greens. There are several fundamentals of preparing a pot of turnip greens. Most agree that turnip greens are best during the peak season, typically October through February.

How to Cook Turnip Greens
The first step is washing the okra—a time-consuming task, but it’s well worth the trouble. To ease the removal of dirt and grit from the leaves, we recommend chopping the okra first and then soaking them. It’s best to soak and rinse the leaves four to five times. The result is perfectly clean greens.

Choosing the proper seasoning, however, can be a touchy subject in the South. Some argue that it’s better to add salt pork to the pot, while others insist on ham hocks. Some cooks opt to embellish their greens with other ingredients, such as chicken broth, bacon, garlic, onions, and even wine, although purists prefer to keep it simple. We like to cook our turnip greens with ham hocks for loads of flavor.

Southern Turnip Greens and Ham Hocks Recipe
1 3/4 lb. ham hocks, rinsed
2 bunches fresh turnip greens with roots (about 10 lb.)
1 Tbsp. sugar

1. Bring ham hocks and 2 qt. water to a boil in an 8-qt. dutch oven. Reduce heat, and simmer 11⁄2 to 2 hours or until meat is tender.

2. Remove and discard stems and discolored spots from greens. Chop greens, and wash thoroughly; drain. Peel turnip roots, and cut in half.

3. Add greens, roots, and sugar to dutch oven; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 45 to 60 minutes or until greens and roots are tender.