I belong to a cooperative that provides me with a bag of local, organic vegetables each week. And I love that it forces me to be creative with foods that I might not otherwise choose to cook with. The only drawback: I’m sometimes forced to be creative with foods that I might not otherwise choose to cook with.
A few weeks ago, my share included a bunch of white turnips. Not beets or sweet potatoes or even potatoes but turnips, the other root vegetable. To be honest, turnips are one of those foods I don’t usually choose to cook with. They were just never that appealing to me until I began to experiment with them.
An important reason to consider adding them to you diet: they’re very nutrient-dense, loaded with essential vitamins and minerals, and low in calories. One cup has all the antioxidant-rich vitamins A, C and K you need each day, with approximately 5 grams of fiber and just 30 calories. And that’s just the root. The leafy green tops have a similar flavor and nutritional profile as mustard greens, making them an ideal addition to stir-fries, soups and even spicy green smoothies.
Turnips are at their peak in late fall and winter, so now is a perfect time to try them. Here are a few ways I have enjoyed them.
Roasted. Dice two or three turnips with a few of other vegetables (such as carrots, onions and broccoli), olive oil, sea salt, and fresh herbs, such as rosemary or tarragon. Roast them in a 350 degree F oven until tender and brown on the edges. If you’d like you can add a little Parmesan cheese for extra flavor. This makes a perfect accompaniment to an herb-roasted chicken.
Mashed. Remove the tops and steam a few turnips until they’re soft. While they are still warm, mash them with a fork. Mix in sea salt, a pat of butter – or truffle oil, if you want to impress a few guests – and serve with baked salmon or any dish you normally enjoy with mashed potatoes.
Fried. Instead of serving french fries with a turkey or garden burger, you can serve zesty, low-calorie, low-carb turnip slices. Here’s the simple recipe:
3-4 medium-large white turnips
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Peel outer layer from turnips, removing all dirt and scuff marks.
Slice turnips into one-quarter-inch-thick fries.
Place turnips in a bowl, then toss with oil and seasoning.
Spread out the cut turnips evenly on the baking sheet and place in oven.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown on bottom.
Use a spatula to turn them. Bake another 15 minutes, until golden brown on both sides.