Horsley Park Turnips: Big, Sweet, Good to Eat
Turnips have been roasted as long as we’ve had fire. If Mister didn’t capture the Woolly Mammoth to keep the family in flesh, Missus was good at rooting up turnips. Ancient Rome thrived on the turnip although their way of cooking it was more involved than any of the recipes below, with roasting, pummelling and adding various strange spices. The Romans also used it medicinally although we suspect applying it mashed with cream and smashed rose buds to the face, is a waste of a good turnip. Even if the advertising of the day guaranteed you a face as smooth as a baby’s bum.
Balderick – the ‘I-have-a-cunning-plan’ manservant in the English comedy Blackadder – had one main ambition in life: ‘the acquisition of turnips’. Of course, back in the 1700’s food – any food – was in short supply, and so even turnips were highly prized.
However, from the onset of the industrial revolution, the humble turnip went into terminal decline.
Turnip greens are edible and taste like mustard greens, and rich in vitamin A, folate, C, K and calcium. Before the advent of the potato, turnips and the turnip mutation, the swede, had kept northern Europe healthy through dark dark winters.
The turnip’s root (the vegetable we know and love) is high in Vitamin C. The green leaves of the turnip top (“turnip greens”) are a good source of vitamin A, folate, vitamin C, vitamin K and calcium. And the purple colouring on the turnip is equivalent to a suntan.
Horsley Park Turnips
Until the Grima bros brought out baby turnip.
Highly fancied by upmarket restaurants for their incredibly sweet taste. Just blanch for a few minutes et voila. Also great in salads – just slice the raw baby turnip and mix with other salad produce.
This is a versatile veg which can be deep fried, pickled (a favourite is with beetroot for a daringly bright result), steamed, mashed – first boil in stock, and then mash with butter and some freshly grated parmesan cheese – grated into salad or roasted as potato wedges are roasted. Or for added crunch in your stir fry, do as Anton suggests, cut them into strips and throw them in.
Preparing and Cooking Turnip Greens
Turnip greens sauté well. They need to be washed and then coated in lemon juice for 5 minutes. The lemon juice stops wilting and enhance their nutritional content. It can then put into a pot of boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Drain the greens and sautéed in olive oil with 1-2 crushed cloves of garlic and some grated (I cm) fresh. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Or, when drained, tear finely and use as the greens in green salad with salad dressing.
Turnip is a good roaster and a fine addition to a pan with any or all of sweet potatoes, pumpkin, potatoes and carrots. Toss the vegetables with olive oil, crushed garlic and chill roast in a hot oven on the top shelf, and when done add chopped fresh herbs.
Crunchy Turnip Crumble
Pickled Turnip from the Middle East
Cream of Turnip and Potato Soup
Turnip, Cabbage and Carrot Coleslaw
- 1 large or 2 medium turnips
- 3 tbs spoons
- 1 tbs spoon brown sugar
- 2 medium eggs
- 1 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp white pepper
- pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- For the topping
- 8 tbs spoons of breadcrumbs
- 2 tbs spoons melted butter
- In a saucepan with water boil turnips until soft about 15 minutes. Cool then cube and mash turnip with 2 tablespoons of butter then add mixed dry ingredients to mashed turnip, along with 2 eggs, well beaten.
- Put turnip mixture into casserole dish. Sprinkle with topping and bake for 25 minutes in a medium oven or until light brown on top.
- I raw beetroot, peeled and roughly cut into 8 wedges
- 1 large turnip, peel and cut into 16 wedges
- celery leaves (which are too good to ever throw away)
- 3-4 cloves of garlic (barely enough)
- dried chilli flakes (optional)
- 4 tsp salt use Himalayan salt or coarse white salt
- a litre of water
- 300ml white vinegar
- Sterilise your jars.
- Add the vegetables, celery leaves, garlic, and chilli – make sure that the beetroot is evenly dispersed among the turnip
- Dissolve the salt in the water mix in the vinegar
- Pour over the vegetables.
- Seal the jars and leave them at room temperature for two weeks before placing them in the fridge.
- The pickles will be ready in a week to 10 days.
- Refrigerate and use up within a month.
- 4 tbs butter
- 2 turnips, peeled and chopped
- 1 large onion peeled and chopped
- 1 large potato, peeled and chopped
- 1 tbs spoon of cornflour
- 1 litre of warm chicken stock (vegetable if preferred) 1 bay leaf
- Freshly grate nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste
- 200 mls of single cream
- 1 medium carrot, finely grated
- In a large casserole, melt butter over a medium heat. When froth disappears, add chopped turnips, onion and potato. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, until onion is tender and translucent but not golden. Using a slotted spoon, remove vegetables from casserole; reserve.
- Away from heat, stir flour into casserole juices, until smooth. Slowly pour in chicken broth, stirring. Simmer for 3 minutes, until slightly thickened. Transfer reserved vegetables back into casserole; add bay leaf and sprinkle with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Lower heat; simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, until vegetables are soft, stirring occasionally.
- 2 carrots – purple or red, julienned (cut or sliced into fine strips – there are food processor attachments that do this. Some cooks use a knife and chopping board.)
- 1/4 head of cabbage, (can use wombok) finely chopped
- 2 Grima Brother’s turnips, julienned
- 1/2 bunch chopped dill
- 1/4 extra virgin olive oil
- 1-2 garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup good yoghurt (Country Valley works well)
- Freshly ground pepper and a pinch of salt
- Finely sliced red chilli (optional)
- Crush the garlic and add the salt to it, mix and place in bowel and add the yoghurt, oil and pepper – whisk this dressing together.
- Combine the cabbage, carrots, turnips, dressing and chopped dill and allow to stand for 10 mins and season to taste.