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Whole Gourmet Natural Cooking

Alison Anton's Natural Cooking Blog offers healthy recipes, inspirational food articles and culinary advice for the natural chef, and features dessert recipes from her upcoming cookbook, Desserts for Every Body.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Turnips and Turnip Recipes

Do you turnup your nose at a turnip? Turnips usually get passed by at the produce counter, mainly out of ignorance with what to do with them. Somewhere between a potato and a radish, turnips have a root-like flavor with a spicy, crisp bite at the end.

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As a cruciferous vegetable in the cabbage family, turnips are highly nutritious. All cruciferous veggies are known to ward off cancer, but turnips have an exceptionally high amount of the cancer-fighting nutrient called glucosinolates. From a Chinese medicinal view, turnips are much like radishes in that they aid digestion by cooling and soothing inflammation and phlegm. The mustard-like greens supply many times the nutrient content of the root.

So what do you do with them?

From a culinary perspective, turnips can go a couple different directions: toward a potato or toward a radish. By far, the most common turnip recipes are mashed turnips (or a combination of turnips and potatoes) or turnip gratin. They are also cooked up into soups like potatoes or other root vegetables.

Cream of Turnip Soup
Crisp-tender turnips, onions and warming spices are pureed into a mild yet hearty creamed soup...

Braised Turnips with Browned Onions and Hazelnuts
Seasonal turnips are cooked in a simple, fragrant braising liquid and tossed with a saute of hazelnuts and onions...

Going in the radish direction, turnips can be grated or diced and tossed into salads or slaws. Unlike potatoes, grated turnips last several days in the refrigerator without oxidizing. They can also be sauteed, braised or stir-fried with other vegetables and grains.

Choose small turnips, no more than three inches in diameter; they will be sweeter and crisper. Turnips should be hard to the touch. Most farmers' markets offer turnip greens with their roots attached. The greens should be removed from the root and stored separately. The separated greens should last 3-4 days in the refrigerator.


At 7:47 PM , Anonymous Dandelion Girl said...

Thanks! I had been wondering what to do with turnips. I'll have to try that soup! :)


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