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Crops & Varieties: Turnips

We grow two turnip varieties: a sweet, light turnip called Hakurei and a heartier storage turnip called Purple Top. We've split them up on this page for clarity, but the two are interchangeable in most recipes, especially when roasted.

Variety: Hakurei (sweet)

A real treat for the cooler months. Hakurei turnips show up early in the season, take a break for the heat of summer, and follow us long into the fall. Their sweetness is often a surprise to those tasting them for the first time.

Quick tips

Don't bother peeling the Hakurei turnip, just give it a wash before eating.

Eat them like an apple. Seriously. The body of the turnips holds a texture not unlike apples with a distinct, earthy sweetness, hold enough water to go down nicely, and are great sliced and eaten raw. Raw turnips serve as an excellent crudités, served simply with salt or as a "cracker" for dips.
Cut into thin medallions for a a great addition to stir-fries. Think of them as a replacement for water chestnuts.
Roasted Hakurei turnips are some of the sweetest-tasting treats of the season. Cut, toss with oil, and roast at 400-425 degrees for 15-25 minutes (depending on how meltingly tender you'd like them). Try turning them into an oven-roasted chip by slicing them extremely thinly, turning the oven to 450 degrees and tossing them lightly with olive oil, salt and pepper.

Cooked turnips will turn buttery. Tossed into soups and stews, braised, steamed, pureed or glazed, sweet turnips add a refreshing, creamy dimension to dishes.
First, separate the greens from the root and use the greens in their own dishes. Be sure to leave about half an inch of stem on the root to avoid cutting into the turnip itself.

Sweet turnips store well in your refrigerator in a plastic bag. Be careful to keep them from freezing, as their thin skin does not protect the pulp.
For best sweetness, eat within a week.

From our Newsletter Archive: Creamed Turnips


Variety: Purple Top Storage Turnips

Quick tips
A treat when roasted just to tenderness (test with a knife - if it goes in easily, it’s ready). Roasted, turnips become a sweet, complex vegetable. Cut, toss with oil, and roast at 400- 425 degrees for 15-25 minutes (depending on how small your cut and how tender you'd like them).
They’re great in combination with other root vegetables and/or squash. The turnip’s sweetness is highlighted by glazing (alone or in combination with another root). Try mashing or pureeing the Purple Top, solo or in combination with potatoes, carrots, rutabagas or the sweet Hakurei turnip. The creaminess and flavor of the turnip lends well to soups and stews. If you eat meat, Purple Tops add an extremely complimentary taste and are able to cut the fattiness when paired with the rich meat (duck, pork, ribs…).
When eaten raw, they have a mustardy flavor, which makes them a great addition to salads, slaws and as crudités. Shredded they make a tasty garnish to soups.
When cooked they have a buttery, snappy, slightly peppery flavor.  
If the larger turnips have a thicker skin, trim them, but save the washed trimming to add, judiciously, to stock. Greens have a bright, tangy mustardy taste that makes them lovely alone or combined with other, less distinct greens.

Will last more than a month in the fridge or in a dry, cool storage place in your home. As the turnip ages, you’ll notice that it slowly turn more bitter, but is still quite flavorful many weeks after you receive them.
Epicurious: Turnip Gratin

Yi Reservation: Chinese turnip cakes  - A bit more involved than most of our recipes, but they are fascinating.

Simply Recipes (adapted): Turnip Potato Soup (PDF) Turnip Cake Amish Turnips

Roasting: 25-35 mins for cubes at 450-475°; 25 mins at 500°
Sauteing: 5-12 mins
Simmering: 18-25 mins when peeled and chunked to ½”; 15-20 mins for wedges
Steaming: 5-7 mins, cubed; 10-14 mins chunked or quartered

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