Turnip Harvest

by Daisy

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I harvested the rest of the turnips to make way for the Spring garden.

Although I’ve never had much luck with potatoes, I’m trying again this year.  This time in another spot, further away from where the black walnut trees were (toxic roots), with more sun, and in a raised bed.

I planted three types, red, Yukon gold, and, for fun, blue potatoes, too.  While I’ve never gotten a good harvest before, the idea of pushing in a garden fork and lifting out gobs of gorgeous potatoes is so attractive, I can’t help myself.

Meanwhile, I’ve got twenty pounds of turnips in the house.  My first challenge is keeping the children from using them to play bowls across the kitchen floor.

Secondly, and most importantly, how am I going to use up twenty pounds of turnips before they start to go bad (or become battered–see above)?

We like them raw, somewhat less when roasted.  Boiled is okay.  I’m taking suggestions, because they’re high in vitamin C and also contain traces of important minerals.

I was interested to read that, depending on your genetics, you may find turnips to be terribly bitter-tasting.  If you’ve inherited two copies of a gene that makes you able to taste a certain compound in turnips, you probably won’t be able to stand them.

We like them, fortunately, but it’s still going to require some creativity to get through this whole basket.

I’m thinking, sort of like jicama, shredded or julienned in salads?  How do you like your turnips?

Oh, Ma, turnips? Again!?

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Maria March 5, 2012 at 9:55 am

I just wanted to say that, that is a great load of turnips! I’m impressed!

And I only eat them boiled and mashed with butter!!

Angie March 5, 2012 at 10:33 am

I *love* mashed turnips and carrots. Put just a bit of butter and salt on it and I could eat it all day.

sarah w March 5, 2012 at 10:40 am

When did you plant them? I’ve never planted turnips before and can’t recall ever eating one either. I’m curious to see what responses everyone offers.

Tomato Lady March 5, 2012 at 10:50 am

sarah w–I wish I could say exactly, but I think it was around July/August? If only I had a blog and could keep track of these things 😛

Emma March 5, 2012 at 11:28 am

We’ve been getting a ton of turnips from our winter CSA this year, so I’ve had a few successful recipes lately.
My husband made this soup yesterday, and it was delicious.
He also made this one (loosely, because we didn’t have everything) and it was one of the best potpies we’ve ever had.
I also mixed them with potatoes for the topping of a shepard’s pie a couple of weeks ago, they gave it a little kick.

debra March 5, 2012 at 11:44 am

A local restaurant serves pickled turnips. They are an amazing combination of crunch, tart and spicy.

Clint Baker March 5, 2012 at 12:21 pm

Great job! They look good!

Teresa March 5, 2012 at 1:05 pm

We also like them raw, julianed in salads, I will freeze them and use them in soups or broth, we also liked them pickled….yup pickled, and if you like beets there are some really good fermented turnip recipes that use beets its an Isreali dish actually very good (even though I hate beets).

Corinne March 5, 2012 at 2:01 pm

blech! turnips! :p
perhaps the mashed with butter doesn’t sound SO bad….
otherwise i would just suggest battering and frying them like fried green tomatoes or something to that effect.
could you dig out the middle and stuff them like green peppers? i don’t know what cooked turnips taste like, but for some reason ground lamb or turkey sounds yummy.

Kimmyoo March 5, 2012 at 4:19 pm

Shred them and make hashbrowns. I made a hashbrown casserole with turnips the other day. It was yummy!

Adica March 5, 2012 at 7:17 pm

I love the purple pickled turnips you get at Mediterranean restaurants. Delicious with hummus!

Becca March 5, 2012 at 9:55 pm

Whenever I make mashed potatoes, I add a turnip if I have it. I still have a few in my sad excuse for a root cellar. My only advice is to shred it rather than dice it when you boil it with the potatoes. Otherwise, the turnips don’t really mash well. It adds a nice oniony/garlicy flavor to the potatoes.
I’ve also tried roasting them. Blech. I’m okay with them raw, but my family isn’t so sure about it.
I’ve found that they often go well with anything that has potato pieces in it- soup, stew, pot pie.

Martha March 6, 2012 at 4:01 am

I recently read that they are good added to mashed potatoes, though I have not tried it. Allrecipes.com is a good source for new ideas. They have over 40,000 recipes and adding every day. I do know they are good in salads, either julienned or shredded.

caitlinvb March 6, 2012 at 7:16 am

Replace the Jicama in a shredded Jicama and beet salad with turnips… with an orange cilantro (mine here in NC is still green?) dressing, or an orange-mint-scallion dressing… would be awesome!

Deb March 6, 2012 at 7:19 am

We love the things fermented. You can do it with cabbage or by themselves like radish kimchi. It lasts forever in the fridge so you can have them til next harvest if you like! 😉

cathy March 6, 2012 at 8:21 am

we like turnips too!
some not mentioned yet:
mixture of 1/2 white sweet potatoes 1/2 turnips mashed
uncooked, shredded turnip and cabbage for a slaw
in a soup

have you tried the whole growing your potatoes in a tall garbage can thing?? it works really well and leaves your beds free for other things

rose March 6, 2012 at 9:05 am

We really like turnips peeled, sliced, placed in alum. foil, topped with butter & little salt, closed & cooked on a grill or baked in oven. Congratulations, beautiful harvest!

Betty March 6, 2012 at 9:16 am

Peel, chop, boil, drain, and mash with a little butter, salt and pepper, or add to mashed potatoes. Always good as a substitute for potatoes in soups, too.

To freeze: Peel. Chop into 1- to 2-inch chunks. Drop into boiling water for about 30 seconds. Drop into an ice bath until cool. Drain. Place into freezer safe containers or freezer bags. Toss into the freezer for later use.

It was a banner year for turnips for us, too. We’ve already eaten a ridiculous amount so I’ll be freezing ours today.

Rachel March 6, 2012 at 10:16 am

I have heard they make great oven fries. I only like them raw, with ranch dressing. Although I could eat the greens every DAY!

If you really have too many, consider calling the local food pantry. They almost never get any fresh vegetables or fruit donated, and turnips are great in that they don’t need refrigeration.

As for the bowling…….I’d give them the bruised one then tell them the rest are off limits. Punishment? Well, they have to eat turnips for dinner…. 😉

Beth Wall March 6, 2012 at 2:59 pm

I have my own recipe for a very unique slaw…a friend told us u can substitute shredded turnips in place of the angel hair cabbage we use so we tried it and it was good….surprisingly almost same as using the cabbage! here is my recipe in case anyone would like to try it!

angel hair cabbage (or turnips)
diced fresh tomatoes
Kraft Real Mayo
onion powder – ALOT (this is the secret)
salt & pepper to taste

I dont measure..sorry…but if i had to guesstimate measurements on the onion powder ..I would say to one regular bag of slaw..maybe 1/4 cup or more!! it sounds like a lot but it is the key! let me know if you try it…how you like it!

Sandy Poster March 6, 2012 at 5:41 pm

Slice real thin, like with a mandolin slicer, sprinkle with olive oil and Himalayan salt. Bake or fry for turnip chips.

Alliey March 6, 2012 at 9:25 pm

My husband grew up eating turnips boiled southern-style along with their greens. I made it for him once and was surprised how much I liked them, having never eaten a turnip in my life. I cook them with a little sliced onion in plenty of chicken stock. Salt, pepper, and maybe a dash of hot sauce is all they need.

junkin neighbor March 7, 2012 at 8:24 am

Hellooo neighbor! You know that I LOVE turnips! You also have fence-mail, I put some large sweet potatoes in the bucket. You might have to give them to ‘the girls’ (chickens)!

Tomato Lady March 7, 2012 at 8:31 am

G–Fence-mail! LOL. I will go check my “inbox”! I’ll put you some turnips in there. . .

Sarah March 7, 2012 at 1:56 pm

I love Simply in Season cookbook’s recipe for the Roasted Winter Vegetables. You can throw in whatever you have on hand (ahem…turnips for example) and you can change up the spices too. So yummy roasted! I would highly recommend not substituting dried herbs though; the texture just seems wrong.

Myrnie March 12, 2012 at 10:14 pm

The kids in this house love tatties n’ neeps- it’s potatoes and turnips, with onion and bacon. You can either cube and fry the vegetables, or cube and boil them (and then mash.) The turnips take longer, so throw them in first.

Maggie March 16, 2012 at 7:07 pm

I’m sure I used thinly sliced turnip as the ‘pasta’ to make a raw food ravioli once but I couldn’t get the slices thin enough. I should look for that recipe again now I have an awesome ceramic blade mandolin that slices half a mm thick!

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