Posts Tagged ‘turnips’


We grow turnips in the spring and fall.  The spring turnips are fast-growing and tender, often with very tender (and edible) leaves.  The spring turnips are very tender and can be eaten raw in salads, or cooked.  The fall turnips can also be tender, but can also be more robust and tough (these are the ones that have white bottoms and purple tops) – these purple-top fall turnips should be cooked.

Spring turnips, white

Spring turnips, red

Fall turnips, purple top

Rutabaga and Potato Puree

This recipe is from the cookbook “Local Flavors: Cooking and Eating from America’s Farmer’s Markets” by Deborah Madison.

The author notes that you need not worry about the exact amounts of potatoes and rutabagas.  And the more rutabagas you use, the less additional liquid needed.

1/2 lb potatoes
1 1/2 lbs rutabagas or mixed rutabagas and turnips
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
unsalted butter
freshly grated nutmeg
1 TBS chopped parsley and/or snipped chives

1. Peel potatoes (we usually peel our Big Woods Farm potatoes) and rutabagas, then chop then into chunks, making the rutabagas about half the size of the potatoes (and turnips, if using) since they take longer to cook.  Put them all in a saucepan and cover with cold water.  Add 1 1/2 tsp salt and bring to a boil.  Cook until soft enough to mash, about 25 minutes.

2. Drain, reserving a cup of the cooking liquid water first, then return the vegetables to the pot and mash them with a potato masher, adding reserved liquid or warm milk or cream to thin it.  Scrape in a little nutmeg and taste for salt and season with peppers.  Serve with the parsley or chives scattered over the top.

– Fold in toasted, chopped hazelnuts and serve the puree with a drizzle of hazelnut oil.
– Add 1 cup grated aged Cheddar or freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
– Brown any leftovers in butter and serve with an arugula salad.

Radish or Turnip Soup

makes 6 cups

This is modified from a Chinese recipe that calls for pork, but you can make it using tofu (instead of pork) and vegetable stock (instead of water).  The recipe does not call for the greens on the radishes and turnips, but I think they make a tasty and nutritious addition to the soup.  The soup can be made hours or a day in advance.  The original recipe is from David’s favorite Chinese cookbook “The Key to Chinese Cooking” by Irene Kuo ( Knopf, 1977).  The book is out of print, but available from used-book sellers online – David got his for $10.

½ to 1 lb of pork shoulder or butt, cubed, or meaty spareribs, chopped.  OR  1 lb firm tofu, cut into ½” cubes.
½ lb radishes or white turnips, including greens, all sliced
4 cups water OR 4 cups vegetable stock
4 quarter-size slices of peeled ginger
salt to taste

Bring the 4 cups of water or vegetable stock to a boil with the ginger.  Add the meat or tofu, and when the water boils again, turn the heat low, skimming the surface until clear.  Bring to a boil again and then adjust the heat to maintain a weak simmer.  Cover and simmer for 1½ hours for pork (30 minutes for tofu), stirring once in a while.  Season with salt to taste.

Add the radishes or turnips and simmer for another 30 minutes, covered.  Remove the excess fat (if present) by spooning off the transparent layer; scoop out the ginger and discard.  Adjust the salt to taste.

Mashed Turnips with Butter

This recipe is wonderful when used with the white spring turnips. The taste is sweet and full – it has made turnip lovers out of us! From “The Boston Cooking-School Cookbook” (copyright 1918) by Fannie Farmer – we inherited the cookbook from Laurie’s grandmother, who lived at the farm for many years.  After making this recipe, save the greens and use them too.

Version 1:
Wash turnips and cut in slices or quarters, cook in boiling salted water until soft. Drain, mash, and season with butter, salt, and pepper.

Version 2:  (from Big Woods Farm members, the Buhman’s)
Something fun to do with the turnips – our kids love these!

Mashed Buttered Turnips
4 medium turnips, peeled and quartered
5 tablespoons butter, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil.  Add the turnips and cook for 20 to 25 min., or until tender.  Drain into a colander.

Return the turnips to the pot and mash with a potato masher until smooth.  Whisk in the melted butter, parsley, salt and pepper.  Turn into a warmed dish and serve hot.

(Recipe from – In the Kennedy Kitchen, Neil Connolly)

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