The Farm Stand: How To Cook Turnips

Welcome back to the Farm Stand, your weekly guide to seasonal Southern produce.

In something of a Red Sox-style comeback, turnips, the root vegetable that once moved Scarlett O'Hara with clenched fist to shout to the heavens "As God is my witness, I'll never be hungry again" have not only solidified themselves as a Southern symbol of resourcefulness, but also as a favorite ingredient of the South's most revered chefs.

If you limit your turnip consumption to occasionally ordering turnip greens at your local BBQ joint (even though you really want mac 'n' cheese), you really haven't seen how versatile they can be from soups to sides, roasted or mashed. Think of turnips to potatoes as Casey Affleck is to Ben -- not as popular, but just as good.

Turnip Traits

  • Although your first instinct may be to choose bigger turnips, look for smaller bulbs without any blemishes and a bright violet bottom half. Larger turnips tend to taste more bitter and have a hot aftertaste.
  • If you are looking to cook turnip greens as well, make sure the leaves are still attached to the turnips and they aren't wilted or yellowing.
  • That being said, once you've brought your turnips home, separate the greens and store them by washing, drying, and wrapping them in paper towels then placing them in a plastic bag in the fridge. Keep the turnips fresh by storing them in a plastic bag in your crisper. If you are fortunate enough to have a root cellar, keep them there.
  • If you want to try eating turnips raw, slice them on a mandolin so they remain crunchy yet manageable in terms of chewing.

What to Make

Try these turnip recipes and let us know how you like to enjoy them.

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