Now's the time to celebrate the turnip. The pale purple and white root vegetable is all too often forgotten, but its sweet, nutty flavor should not be missed. For the uninitiated, however, turnips can be intimidating. What the heck do you do with them? Well, you treat them a whole lot like any other root vegetable. Here are five recipes to give you a little inspiration and set you on your way.
What You Need to Know About Turnips
Turnips are the edible root of a plant that's related to broccoli and Brussels sprouts. You can eat the top greens of turnip root as well (they're delicious sautéed). The root itself is sweet and has almost a cabbage-like flavor, but its texture is similar to that of a starchy potato. Look for smaller turnips, as they tend to have better flavor; larger turnips can sometimes be a bit bitter.
Learn more: Seasonal Spotlight: Turnips!
This savory tart combines thick slices of roasted turnips with juicy roasted beets. A good swipe of ricotta underneath the veggies lends a creamy contrast, while a sprinkle of smoked paprika is the surprise ingredient that will have you going in for a second piece.
Turnips have a great meaty texture to them that mimics potatoes, which makes them a great substitute in this vegetable-packed hash. Since green garlic is only available in the spring, feel free to swap in fresh minced garlic or chopped scallions.
Consider this a side dish to add to your rotation all fall and winter long. Cook diced turnips and carrots in nutty brown butter and then toss them in a thick maple syrup and cider vinegar glaze so they taste of the season.
Don't wait until spring to make this soup, as it's hearty enough to eat all through the cold weather. Potatoes add extra body, while a sprinkle of roasted chickpeas lends a little crunch.
This hearty vegetarian chili is packed with beans, chunks of pumpkin, and yes, turnips. They help lighten up the starchiness of the dish a little and play off the pumpkin's sweetness. Top each bowl with shredded cheese and sour cream for a comforting dinner.