All About Turnips!

Turnips are not always the most fashionable vegetable, but they are definitely worth trying  in your CSA box! They have a crunchy texture, subtle bitter taste, and can be prepared various ways. Turnips are a root vegetable commonly associated with potatoes or beets, however, their closest relatives are radishes and arugula, which are members of the mustard family. They have a sharp, almost hot taste, and are best paired with milder vegetables like potatoes. They add some great “zip” to recipes!

Turnips are available all year round, but at their best in spring and summer, when they are smaller and sweeter. Larger turnips tend to develop tough skins, but are great to add to mashed potatoes and stews. Turnips are also a great vegetable to store during the winter months, too! Turnips can be eaten raw, but are more commonly cooked, mashed, baked, or added to soups.

Here are a couple unique recipes to try when your next batch of turnips arrives in your CSA box!


Smothered Turnips and Greens

This recipe is courtesy of Sheri Castle, and is found in her new book, “The New Southern Garden Cookbook.” I highly recommend that you purchase this book to help you use your CSA produce effectively! Sheri states that this recipe is a “classic southern way to quickly cook turnips with their greens.” Makes 4-6 servings.


1.5 lbs small turnips with their greens

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 tbsp bacon drippings or additional olive oil

2 tbsp water

1 tsp kosher salt

½ tsp ground black pepper


1. Cut off the greens from the turnips and discard any discolored leaves. Coarsely chop the greens. Wash them to remove any dirt and drain in a colander. Trim the turnips and cut them into ½ inch cubes.

2. Heat the oil and drippings in a large skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium-high heat. Add the greens to the skillet one large handful at a time, tossing with tongs to help them wilt a little before adding more. When all of the greens are in the skillet, stir in the turnips and 2 tbsp of water. Reduce the heat, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally until the turnips are tender, 10-15 minutes.

3. Uncover, increase the heat, and cook, stirring often, until the liquid cooks away and the cubes of turnips are lightly browned, 5-8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve hot.

Turnips with Coconut

I love the tropical taste of coconut in just about anything, but I have never heard of coconut combined with turnips before! This recipe was supplied by a Hilltop Farm CSA member, and Farmer Fred enjoyed it so much he sent all of the members the recipes! This is a flavorful Indian side dish, with only 100 calories per 1 cup serving!


2 tbsp vegetable oil

½ tsp mustard seed

¼ tsp asafetida powder (can substitute equal parts onion powder and garlic powder)

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp turmeric

½ tsp salt

2 tbsp water

1 tbsp shredded coconut

2 turnips, quartered and sliced thinly

4 fresh turnip leaves, chopped

½ onion, minced


1. Heat the oil in a skillet over high heat, and cook the mustard seeds in the hot oil until the seed no longer are crackling.

2. Stir the asafetida powder into the mustard seeds, add the turnips, turnip leaves, and onion to the skillet.

3. Season the mixture with paprika, turmeric, and salt.

4. Pour water over the mixture, place a cover on the skillet, reduce heat to medium, and cook until the turnip is cook yet remains crunchy, 5-7 minutes.

5. Return heat to high to cook off any excess water. Mix the coconut into the mixture just before serving.


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