Follow along as we highlight vegetables that we're currently harvesting...

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Are Those White Beets?

A commonly asked question at the farm stand, those “white beets” are actually turnips.  Their strong, peppery flavor when raw becomes mild and sweet when cooked!

Favorite Turnip Recipes

Turnip and Carrot Casserole

3 large carrots

3 small turnips

2 tablespoons bread crumbs

2 tablespoons butter

1 tbsp. brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 beaten egg

1/2 cup cream

Boil carrots and turnips together, drain.  Add remaining ingredients.  Put in casserole dish.  Sprinkle with bread crumbs.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Cream of Turnip Soup

2 cups turnips, sliced

1 cup potatoes, sliced

1 small onion, chopped

3 tablespoons butter

1 1/2 tablespoons flour

3 cups vegetable broth

1 to 1 1/2 cup milk

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Melt butter. Add turnips, potatoes and onion.  Cook on medium heat until tender (about 20 minutes).  Sprinkle in flour and blend.  Add broth and stir well.  Bring to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes.  Cool and blend in food processor or blender until smooth. Add milk and salt to taste.

Turnip Slaw

4 cups turnips, shredded

1/4 cup chopped red peppers

1/4 cup sliced green onions

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon vinegar

2 tablespoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.  Refrigerate several hours, and serve.

Kid-Friendly Recipes

Mashed Turnips

7 medium turnips

1 cup milk

2 tablespoons butter

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded

Peel, wash and quarter turnips.  Boil until tender, about 35-40 minutes, drain.  Place in large mixing bowl and use a fork to break up turnips into smaller pieces.  Add milk and butter, and blend.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Sprinkle with Cheddar cheese while hot, and serve. 

Turnip Fries

8 medium turnips

1/4 cups grated Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon ground paprika

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Cut turnips into 2 1/2 x 1/2 inch sticks. In gallon-size sealable plastic bag, combine cheese, onion powder and paprika.  Add turnips; seal bag, squeezing out air; toss to coat turnips.  Empty bag, placing turnips on baking sheet.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until turnips are tender and golden.

Cheesy Turnip Casserole

2 medium turnips, peeled and sliced

6 tablespoons butter

1/4 to 1/2 cup flour

2 cups milk

12-16 oz. Cheddar cheese, shredded

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup bread crumbs

Boil turnips until cooked, about 20-30 minutes, drain.  Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the flour.  Slowly add the milk and stir until mixture thickens; leave the turnips slightly lumpy.  Add the cheese and stir.  Pour mixture into a serving dish and top with the bread crumbs.  Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.

Preparation Tips:

  • Store turnips separately from their greens – the leaves will keep for a few days in the fridge, while the roots will keep for a week in the crisper of the fridge.
  • Cooked turnip greens are edible, so save them when cooking the roots separately. 
  • Wash and prepare turnips as you would any other roots; scrub off any dirt, and peel larger turnips if desired.
  • To keep their flavor mild, do not overcook!

Other Ways to Serve Turnips:

  • Grate smaller younger turnips raw into salads as you would with carrots or beets.
  • Stir Fry thinly sliced turnips in olive oil, with onion and garlic, stirring often for 6-7 minutes in a large skillet over medium high heat until they are crisp-tender.
  • Boil whole turnips in a pot of boiling water 20-30 minutes, or until tender.  Uncover the pot occasionally while cooking for a mild flavor.  Sweeten the turnips by adding a little sugar to the water. 
  • Steam whole turnips for 20-25 minutes or cut up turnips for 12-15 minutes.  Serve with salt and pepper and lemon juice.
  • Bake 1/4 inch thick slices in a shallow baking dish at 350 degrees 30-45 minutes, or until tender.  Sliced onions and other root vegetables, garlic, and salt and pepper can be added for savory flavor.  Or sweeten with honey and brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves, and orange or lemon juice or zest.
  • Mash or puree boiled, steamed or baked turnips and serve like mashed potatoes, either by themselves or combined in equal portions with potatoes.
  • Add turnips to broth soups and stews, or use puree boiled, steamed, or baked turnips in the base of a cream soup. 

** Turnips are a great source of Vitamin C, so enjoy these “white beets,” especially in cold season!