Turnip Time

Turnip Time

Salad turnips are one of those special CSA veggies that people rarely see in a grocery store (and can feel a little intimidating at first because of that lack of familiarity), but quickly become something members love and even enthusiastically wait for! 

Similar to a radish in texture and shape, turnips are much sweeter and milder with little to no “bite.” They also have very tender greens that are packed with nutrients and can be cooked like kale or cut into ribbons for salads or slaws.

Members can expect to receive turnips twice in their spring shares, as well as 1-2 times in early summer boxes, and an additional 1-2 times in fall CSA shares. We bring turnips to market as soon as we can (usually in late May) and like to keep them on our stand through early July. They frequently reappear in fall for a couple weeks!

What we grow 

At this time we grow a variety of fresh eating, salad turnips called Hakuri which hints to the Japanese origin of these types of turnips. In the fall, we sometimes grow red salad turnips or a variety called violet queen that looks like a miniature purple top but is still a salad turnip. All these types are mild with nice greens we keep on the bulbs, but Hakuri (the purely white ones) are by far the sweetest. We don’t currently grow purple top turnips (the more standard storage variety). 

Storage tips 

Because we only grow salad turnips at our farm (and not storage varieties), you’ll want to enjoy your turnips from us within a couple weeks. 

For best storage, you’ll need to remove the greens and store the greens and roots separately in loose plastic bags or containers. If there is any band or on the greens, remove that before storage and if they appear to be getting limp or drying out, add a damp paper towel. The greens are best used much more quickly than the roots as they will yellow after about a week.

Using turnip greens

Turnip greens are not to be discarded! These greens are very mild and not at all fuzzy like some other root vegetable greens and one bunch of turnip greens can be used in any single meal quite easily. Plus, packed full of vitamins A, C and B complex as well as potassium, magnesium and calcium, they are a nutritional powerhouse.

Like we shared above, we most frequently cook them down like we would kale, spinach, or chard (find tons of ideas on how to incorporate more dark, hearty greens into your cooking here!) or slice them thinly for adding to salads and slaws. You can also saute them quickly for a side, or add them into eggs, wraps, soups, or pasta dishes if you’re a bit more hesitant about their flavor.

The perfect snacking vegetable

We’ve included a couple turnip recipes below but honestly, turnips are an amazing snacking vegetable (as good as carrot sticks or snap peas). At our home we often rinse, cut the bulbs into halves or quarters, and set out on the table for a snack with carrots, peas, beans, radishes or whatever else is a nice dipping veggie. 

We’ve got a great guide to snacking veggies (and some dips to serve with them) here. 

Turnip recipes

Turnips are perfect raw, pan cooked or roasted, making them unbelievably easy to use. Here’s a few of our favorite preparations.

Photo by: Immaculate Bites

Turnip Greens with Bacon

Recipe by: Immaculate Bites

This is a great recipe on its own and a great way to utilize both the turnips and greens of your turnips. One way to scale it up and possibly make it a full meal is to add beans (black eyed peas or cranberry beans would make it especially tasty) and serve it over rice. 

Yield: 4 servings
Time: 1 hour


2 pounds turnip greens (4 large bunches)

6 strips bacon

1 onion, sliced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 turnips, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes (about 2 cups)

1 teaspoon Creole seasoning

1 tablespoon brown sugar

⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes

1-1½ cups beef broth

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

Salt and black pepper, to taste


  1. Chop the tough ends of the stems off each bunch of turnip greens and discard. Chop each bunch by bundling them together and chopping them into about 1-inch sections.
  2. Transfer chopped greens to the basin or a clean, large, deep sink. Cover them with water, then, using both hands, toss the greens in water to remove dirt and grit. Drain the water and repeat the process 3-5 times until the greens are clean and no dirt is evident in the water. 
  3. Dice bacon into 1-inch pieces. Then, in a Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium heat, cook the bacon until crispy, and some of the fat has rendered. Transfer your bacon to a plate and set it aside. 
  4. Add the onion, minced garlic, and turnips, and saute for 2-3 minutes until the onion is translucent and the garlic is fragrant. 
  5. Add the chopped turnip greens a handful at a time, letting each addition wilt before adding more. Once all the turnip greens have wilted, add the Creole seasoning, brown sugar, pepper flakes, beef broth, vinegar, and bacon bits. Stir until all ingredients are thoroughly combined. Adjust the salt and pepper, bring to a boil, and cook for about 30-45 minutes until the greens are tender. Add more water if required.
  6. Once the greens reach your preferred level of tenderness, transfer them to a serving bowl with some of the cooking liquid. Enjoy!

Photo by: Locally Grown

Charred Turnips With Apples, Wilted Greens & Pepitas

Recipe by: Locally Grown

Yield: 4 servings
Time: 25 minutes


1 bunch turnips with greens

1/2 cup pepitas

6 tablespoons olive oil, divided

Kosher salt

2 handfuls spinach (or more if you like)

Red pepper flakes, divided

2 tablespoons champagne vinegar, divided

1 apple, halved, cored, and sliced

1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced

1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped


  1. Remove the greens from your turnip, leaving a bit of stem attached to the turnips. Wash the greens in cold water to remove any grit. Leave in a colander to drain.
  2. In a large heavy skillet (cast-iron is preferable), toast pepitas over medium heat until they brown and pop, about 7 minutes. Remove to a small bowl. Leave the skillet on medium.
  3. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to skillet followed by whole turnips. Sprinkle with salt and roast, turning them a few times, until lightly charred on most sides, about 10-12 minutes. Remove to a cutting board and allow to cool. Turn off your skillet.
  4. While the skillet is still hot, add an additional tablespoon of olive oil followed by washed turnip greens, a couple handfuls of spinach, a pinch or two of salt, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Saute quickly until wilted, 1-2 minutes. Place in a large bowl and drizzle with 1 tablespoon vinegar and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Toss gently, taste and adjust seasonings as you like.
  5. Now that the turnips are cool enough to handle, halve, quarter or cut into 8 segments based on size. Add to the bowl with the wilted greens. Add apple, red onion, cilantro, remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, remaining tablespoon vinegar, and another pinch of salt and red pepper flakes. Toss everything together and adjust seasonings as you like. You may want more salt or more heat. Enjoy at room temperature.

Photo by: Dishing up the Dirt

Honey Glazed Turnips

Recipe by: Dishing up the Dirt

Yield: 4 servings
Time: 30 minutes


2 pounds turnips, greens removed (save for another use)

1 1/4 cups water

2 Tablespoons good quality butter

1 Tablespoon honey

1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Cut the turnips into 1/2 inch pieces. Place the turnips in a heavy bottom skillet and add enough water (about 1 1/4 cups) to reach halfway up turnips. Add the butter, honey and salt. Cover the pan and bring to a boil over medium- high heat, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Boil turnips, uncovered, until tender and the liquid has evaporated, about 8 minutes.
  2. Continue to cook the turnips over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 5 minutes longer. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Photo by: NYTimes Cooking

Turnip Gratin

Recipe by: NYTimes Cooking

This dish is packed full of creamy goodness, making it an excellent candidate for somewhere to tuck in those turnip greens. Toss them with the sliced turnips in step 2.

Yield: 4 servings
Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes


Butter or olive oil for the baking dish

1 garlic clove, cut in half

2 pounds turnips, preferably small ones, peeled and sliced in thin rounds

Salt and freshly ground pepper

4 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated (about 1 cup tightly packed)

2½ cups low-fat milk (1 percent or 2 percent)

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Butter or oil a 2-quart baking dish or gratin dish. Rub the sides and bottom with the cut clove of garlic.
  2. Place the sliced turnips in a bowl and season generously with salt and pepper. Add half the cheese and the thyme and toss together, then transfer to the gratin dish and pour on the milk. It should just cover the turnips.
  3. Place in the oven and bake 30 minutes. Push the turnips down into the milk with the back of a large spoon. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top and return to the oven. Bake another 40 to 50 minutes, until all of the milk is absorbed, the turnips are soft and the dish is nicely browned on top and around the edges.

Photo by: Dishing up the Dirt

Turnip Salad With Yogurt, Herbs & Poppy Seeds

Recipe by: Dishing up the Dirt

Yield: 4 servings
Time: 25 minutes


1 bunch of Japanese turnips, with their tops if they’re nice and fresh, trimmed so there’s just a nice 1/4 inch of green stems left

1 lemon, halved

1/2 teaspoon dried red chili flakes

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup plain whole-milk yogurt (not greek yogurt)

1 cup lightly packed mixed herbs: dill, parsley, and chives, finely chopped

4 scallions, trimmed (including 1/2 inch of the green tops) sliced on a sharp angle, soaked in ice water for 20 minutes and then drained well

Extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup poppy seeds


  1. Slice the turnips lengthwise as thin as you can. If you have a mandolin, use it; otherwise a sharp knife and steady hand will do just fine. Soak the sliced turnips in ice water for 15 minutes then drain them very well.
  2. Rinse, dry and roughly chop the turnip greens. If the greens seem like their old or not in the best shape you can quickly saute them in olive oil. Put the turnips in a large bowl and squeeze half of the lemon. Add the chili flakes, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and plenty of black pepper and toss to blend. Add the yogurt and toss again.  Add the herbs, scallions, and 1/4 cup olive oil and toss again. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
  3. Scatter about half of the poppy seeds on the bottom of the platter or individual serving plates, top with the turnip salad, and finish the rest of the poppy seeds. Serve right away.

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