Turnips might not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about delicious vegetables, but they are actually a versatile and flavorful ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes. Whether you want to roast them, mash them, or add them to soups and stews, turnips are a great addition to your repertoire. In this article, we will share some simple steps for cooking delicious turnips that will have you coming back for more.
What are Turnips?
If youâ€™re looking for a vegetable with a slightly tangy flavor and a delicate texture, turnips might just be the perfect choice. These â€œbulbs,â€ or swollen roots, can be eaten raw or cooked and are a source of many essential nutrients.
The Characteristics of Turnips
Turnips can be either round or oblong and have a white, yellow, or purple skin, depending on the variety. They can be prepared in many ways, including boiled, roasted, or mashed. Some popular ways to eat turnips include pickling them, adding them to stews and soups, or using them as a substitute for potatoes in dishes such as shepherd’s pie.
- Turnips are high in fiber, vitamin C, and potassium.
- Their leaves, called â€œturnip greens,â€ are also edible and rich in calcium, vitamin K, and vitamin A.
- Turnips are easy to grow due to their tolerance for a wide range of soil conditions and their ability to resist cold weather.
How to Choose Turnips?
When picking turnips, it is important to choose ones that are fresh and in good condition. Here are some tips on how to choose the best turnips:
Look for Firmness and Smooth Skin
Choose turnips that are firm to the touch. Avoid ones that have soft spots or are spongy, as this may indicate rotting or decay. The skin should be smooth and free of blemishes. Also, make sure the turnip is not too large, as it may be tough and woody.
Check Color and Size
The skin color of turnips can vary, but the most common colors are purple, white, or white with green shoulders. Choose a turnip with a uniform color and no signs of discoloration. The size of the turnip matters too. Aim for turnips with a diameter of no more than 10 cm, as larger turnips may have tougher flesh.
Inspect the Leaves
If the leaves are still attached to the turnip root, give them a quick inspection. Leaves that are wilted or discolored may indicate that the turnip is no longer fresh. Choose turnips with healthy, vibrant leaves.
Are Turnips Healthy?
Turnips are not only a tasty vegetable to include in your meals, but they are also very nutritious. They are low in calories and high in fiber, making them a great choice for those looking to maintain a healthy diet. Here are a few reasons why turnips are healthy:
They are a great source of Vitamin C
One medium-sized turnip contains roughly 30% of your daily recommended intake of Vitamin C. This essential antioxidant helps to boost your immune system and keep your skin looking healthy and radiant.
They contain potassium
Turnips are also a good source of potassium, which is essential for maintaining healthy blood pressure and reducing the risk of heart disease. It also helps to maintain proper fluid balance in the body and can even help with muscle cramps.
They are high in fiber
Turnips are high in both soluble and insoluble fiber, which is essential for maintaining proper digestion and bowel regularity. A diet high in fiber can also help to reduce your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer.
How to Store Turnips?
Turnips are a versatile root vegetable that can be cooked in various ways. Proper storage is essential to keep them fresh and maintain their texture and flavor. Let’s discuss how to store turnips properly to preserve their quality and freshness.
Before storing turnips, it is essential to clean them properly. Wash them thoroughly with cold water to remove any dirt or debris, and pat them dry with a clean towel. If you leave any moisture on the turnip, it could lead to premature spoiling or mold growth.
Storing Turnips in the Refrigerator
Once the turnips are clean and dry, you can store them in the refrigerator’s crisper drawer. Place them in a plastic bag with a few small holes in it, so they can still get some airflow and avoid excess moisture buildup. Refrigerate them at a temperature between 32 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
When stored correctly, turnips can last up to two weeks in the refrigerator. However, it is best to use them as soon as possible to ensure maximum freshness and taste.
Storing Cut Turnips
If you have cut turnips, you should put them in the refrigerator in an airtight container or plastic bag. They will last for up to four days in the refrigerator.
If you want to store turnips for longer, you can freeze them. First, peel and slice the turnips, blanch them in boiling water for two to three minutes, then cool them in an ice bath. After that, drain them, package them in a freezer bag, and store them in the freezer for up to six months. Frozen turnips may not have the same texture as fresh turnips, but they are perfect for use in soups, stews, and casseroles.
What are the Different Ways to Cook Turnips?
Turnips are a delicious and versatile vegetable that can be cooked in a variety of ways. From boiling to pickling, turnips can be prepared in many ways to suit your taste. Here are five different methods to cook turnips:
Boiling turnips is a simple and common way to prepare them. Simply wash and peel the turnips and cut them into small pieces. Then, place them in a saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and let the turnips simmer until they are soft and tender.
Mashing turnips is another popular way to cook them. Boil the turnips first and then mash them with a fork or potato masher. Add butter, salt, and pepper to taste for a creamy and flavorful side dish. You can also mix mashed turnips with mashed potatoes for a unique twist on traditional mashed potatoes.
Turnips can also be roasted for a crispy and delicious side dish. Preheat your oven to 400Â°F and wash and peel the turnips. Cut them into small cubes and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread the turnips in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast them until they are golden and crispy.
Frying turnips is another option for a delicious and crispy side dish. Peel and thinly slice the turnips and heat some oil in a frying pan. Once the oil is hot, add the turnip slices and fry until they are crispy and golden brown. Drain off any excess oil on a paper towel before serving.
Finally, you can even pickle turnips for a unique and tangy flavor. Wash and peel the turnips and cut them into thin slices or cubes. In a saucepan, combine water, vinegar, sugar, and salt and bring to a boil. Once the mixture is boiling, add the turnips and any desired spices, such as mustard seeds or garlic. Let the turnips cool and transfer them to a jar. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight before serving the pickled turnips as a tasty snack or condiment.
What are the Best Pairings for Turnips?
Turnips can be a delicious addition to any meal, but pairing them with the right ingredients can take them to the next level. Here are some great pairings to try:
1. Root Vegetables
Turnips are a root vegetable themselves and complement other members of the same family like potatoes, carrots, and parsnips. When cooked together, they create a delicious medley of flavors and textures that is sure to please.
Turnips pair well with many different types of meat, including beef, pork, and chicken. When braised or roasted together, the flavors meld and infuse the meat and vegetables with one another.
Turnips on their own can be quite savory and robust in flavor, but adding herbs like thyme, rosemary, and sage can add a sense of depth to any dish that utilizes them. Sprinkle them over the turnips before cooking or toss them in at the end for an added burst of flavor.
Adding butter to turnips as they cook creates a rich and creamy consistency to their otherwise somewhat fibrous texture. The butter soaks into the turnips and enhances their natural flavors.
For a more decadent pairing, try adding cheese to your turnip dishes. Cheddar, Parmesan, or even blue cheese can all provide a unique boost of flavor to your turnips.
Turnips can be quite sweet on their own, but adding a drizzle of honey before cooking can accentuate their natural sweetness further. It creates a caramelization on the turnips’ exterior, giving your dish a distinct, caramel-like flavor that’s hard to resist.
Enjoy Your Delicious Turnips!
Thank you for taking the time to read through our simple steps to cook delicious turnips. We hope you found these tips helpful. Cooking with turnips is a tasty and healthy way to mix up your meals. We encourage you to explore different ways to incorporate turnips into your cooking. Don’t forget to check back for more flavorful recipes and cooking advice.
Simple Steps to Cook Delicious Turnips
Learn how to cook turnips with these simple steps. Turnips are a flavorful and versatile vegetable that can be used in many dishes.
- 4 turnips
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley
- 1 clove garlic (minced)
- 1/2 lemon (juiced)
- Preheat your oven to 425Â°F.
- Peel and chop the turnips into 1-inch cubes.
- In a large bowl, toss the turnips with olive oil, salt, and pepper until they are evenly coated.
- Spread the turnips in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast them in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until they are tender and golden brown.
- Transfer the roasted turnips to a serving bowl and toss with chopped parsley, minced garlic, and lemon juice.
- Serve the turnips hot and enjoy!