Monday, September 1, 2008

T is for turnips!

If the thought of greyish, mushy boiled turnip makes your stomach turn, then read again and see if you can gain a greater appreciation for the tastiness of the humble turnip.

According to wikipedia you might want to consider the swede, (yellow) turnip, swedish a root which originated as a cross between the cabbage and the turnip. Its leaves can also be eaten as a leaf vegetable. It looks like this:
My experience with turnips is most commonly seeing them packaged in a 'soup' vegetable packet at the supermarket containing carrots, turnips, parsnips, onion and celery. I've been determined to find tastier ways to cook and consume...

Turnip and Fennel Flan

  • 400g white turnips
  • 400g fennel, trimmed weight
  • 1 small onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 tbsp mascarpone
  • 120g egg whites
  • 2 tbsp rosemary, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 40g butter
  • 100ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 baby turnips, very thinly sliced into rounds
  • 2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 6 tbsp chives, finely sliced


Peel the 400g of turnips and slice into 1/2 cm thick rounds. Trim outer leaves from fennel and cut into 1/2 cm slices.

Bring a pot of salted water to the boil and plunge in turnips, fennel and onion for 3-4 minutes until tender. Drain, cool a little and roughly chop, then mix with mascarpone.

Beat egg whites and rosemary together lightly with a fork and mix with turnips, fennel and onion. Season well with salt and pepper.

Butter six 12cm diameter ramekins and fill with mixture to a depth of 2cm. Bake in a preheated 160C oven for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a frypan and fry baby turnip slices on both sides until golden.

Drain on absorbent paper. Serve flans with turnip slices on top as well as diced tomato and finish with chopped chives.

Serves 6

Turnip and Potato Patties


  • 1/2 pound turnips, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes (about 1 1/3 cups)
  • 6 oz potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 1 cup)
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp thinly sliced scallion green
  • 1 egg, beaten lightly
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • Grapeseed oil, peanut oil, or canola oil (high smoke point vegetable oils)
  • Salt and pepper


1 In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the turnip and potato cubes for 15 to 17 minutes, until they are tender, and drain them. In a bowl, mash them with a fork and stir in the scallions, the egg, flour, and salt and pepper to taste.

2 Coat the bottom of a large, heavy bottomed skillet with about 1/4-inch of the oil. Heat the pan on medium high heat until the surface of the oil begins to shimmer, but not smoke. Spoon 1/4-cup mounds of the turnip potato batter into the pan, flattening them into 1/2-inch thick patties with the back of a spatula. Fry the patties until they are golden, turning them once, about 4 minutes on each side. Transfer the patties to paper towels to drain off excess oil.

Makes six patties.

Honey-Glazed Rutabaga or Turnip

Doesn't have a picture but it sounds good!

2 lb Rutabaga or turnips

2 tb Butter

1/4 c Liquid honey

1/4 ts Ground ginger

Salt and pepper


Peel rutabaga and cut into 1/2 inch thick slices; halve or quarter slices. In pot of boiling salted water, cook rutabaga for 15 minutes (turnips for 8 minutes) or just until tender; drain.

Stir in butter; cook over high heat, shaking pan often, for 1 minute or until coated. Stir in honey, ginger, and salt and pepper to taste; cook, stirring often, for 1 minute or until glazed. Makes 4 servings

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