Turnips are one of those neglected vegetables – or at least I tend to neglect them. If you are not familiar with turnips they look like really really big radishes bleached by sun expect perhaps a bit of purple left on top. Their texture is in between potatoes and radish, not as dense as a potato and not as airy as a radish. Their taste is also somewhere in between those two – a bit starchy and a bit bite-y! They have quite a bit of vitamins A and K, so great to include into your cooking rota. Plus: they are a low-waste food – meaning that they need to be peeled only lightly and if you buy them with their greens still on, you can use turnip greens the same way you would beet greens or spinach.
My first experience with them was really all thanks to our summer CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) share, resulting in this favorite, Balsamic Vinegar Glazed Beets and Turnips recipe. They are also delicious roasted, as in the recipe below. Enjoy!
Roasted Turnip Recipe
What you’ll need:
- 1 bunch of purple top turnips (if you can’t find purple top turnips, you can use a bunch of any other type of turnip that’s available where you are, or 4 turnips or so, if not in a bunch. Note: rutabaga is not turnip, although they are closely related. Confusingly, rutabaga is commonly labeled as turnip in the US stores and can be found next to potatoes. The big clue that what you are looking at is not a turnip but a rutabaga is that rutabaga will be pretty large and a bit waxy on the surface (and very hard to peel if you do buy it). Don’t get that one for this recipe, but feel free to explore it for other things as it is delicious as well.
- 2 tablespoons canola (or other vegetable) oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon BBQ spice mix, store bought or homemade (this is the one I like, to make you own you need a 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1/4 teaspoon chili powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon brown sugar, 1 teaspoon onion powder (or onion flakes if you have them), and 1 teaspoon garlic powder (or fresh crushed garlic))
What you’ll do:
- Wash and peel the turnips. Slice them into thin round slices – about 1/8 in (2-3 mm) thickness works well.
- Spread 1 tablespoon of oil over your cast iron pan or another heavy and oven safe pan) bottom.
- Arrange sliced turnip in a circle, almost as if you were building a rose using turnip slices as petals.
- Sprinkle another tablespoon of oil over the top and sprinkle the spices.
- Preheat the oven to 425 F (220 C).
- While oven is preheating, place the cast iron pan over high heat to sear the turnip. Let the bottom edge of the turnip slices brown, and get slightly crunchy. This should take only a couple of minutes.
- Decrease the heat and, working with kitchen tongs, turn the turnip slices upside down, 4-5 at the time, until they are all flipped and ready to sear on the other edge.
- Increase the heat and sear the second edge. Once that’s done, turnips are ready for roasting.
- Place them into the oven and roast for 20-30 minutes. – note: if you don’t have a cast iron pan, you can use any other heavy pan that is oven safe.
- Take the turnips out, cool slightly and enjoy!