What to do with turnips?

January 14, 2009

So if you veggie garden on schedule here in Texas, you should be harvesting turnips right about now. I'd say most people my age would ask the question: "What the .... do yo do with TURNIPS?" Well, they're actually quite tasty, and super easy to grow here. Just sprinkle the seeds directly into the garden in fall and late winter (now), then the seedlings and then just leave 'em alone until they mature. Don't let the turnips get too big before you harvest them, the flavor is better when they are medium sized.

You can make a "mash", as the British would say"...I like to combine potatoes and turnips together to make a mash. Boil your potatoes and turnips (seperately) to a mash appropriate softness. Drain and mash or blend with some butter, fresh parsley, salt and pepper, a bit of cream and some horseradish. MMMM. yes horseradish, that you also grew in your garden and processed...and is sitting in it's jar in you fridge.

OR, you can make these yummy Potato and Turnip cake's from her majesty Martha Stewart:

Serves 4

  • 1 pound russet potatoes (about 2 medium)
  • 1/2 pound white turnips (about 1 large)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper


  1. Coarsely grate (with a box grater or a food processor fitted with the grater attachment) potatoes and turnips, all scrubbed and trimmed. Squeeze to remove as much moisture as possible; transfer vegetables to a medium bowl. Toss with coarse salt and ground pepper.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Form potato mixture into four tightly packed patties; place in skillet, flattening gently with a spatula to a 3/4-inch thickness. Cook patties, turning once, until browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes per side (reduce heat if patties start to brown too quickly, and add more oil to skillet if necessary). Transfer to paper towels; sprinkle with salt.

OR, how about this Turnip Puff from Cooking for 2's website:

  • 3 cups cubed peeled turnips
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 egg
  • 4-1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons bakingpowder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Dash pepper
  • Dash ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs

2 teaspoons butter, melted

Place turnips in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 10-15 minutes or until tender. Drain; mash with butter. Cool slightly. 

Beat in egg. Combine the flour, baking powder, brown sugar, salt, pepper and nutmeg stir into turnip mixture. 

Spoon into a 3-cup baking dish coated with cooking spray. Toss bread crumbs and butter; sprinkle over casserole. Bake, uncovered, at 375° for 30-35 minutes or until heated through and a thermometer reads 160°. Yield: 3 servings

OR you can roast or broil them with some olive oil and salt. Super yummy. They are also good mixed into soups or stews like you'd use potatoes. The greens can be braised or steamed with a bit of garlic, butter and lemon juice.

I know, I know...turnips can be an aquired taste. I think it's time we aquire it.

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