One of the vegetables we developed a late love for is turnips, and here we bring together our favourite turnip recipes, just for you.
Turnips were our featured vegetable last Winter and into Spring. We had not used them a great deal in the past, so wanted to explore their use. We added several new dishes, and especially several new turnip dishes from India.
This is a Punjabi turnip dish, easy to make, with an onion-tomato sauce. It takes no effort at all apart from some peeling, slicing and dicing. A perfect dish for an afternoon snack or a quick meal with some chapatis.
Can I ask you how often you cook with turnips? Yes, I thought so. Me too. But do try this Indian dish with a hint of the North and a touch of the South. The coconut milk pairs very well with creamy turnip. The recipe is adapted from one provided by The Splendid Table.
We’ve had a little focus on Swedes and Turnips last Winter, as we realised that we were not appreciating these underrated vegetables enough. It is Spring as I write, but swedes, turnips and parsnips are still in the green grocers, and the weather is cold. So we decided to add a gratin to our list of recipes for these Wintery roots.
Turnips are one of a group of forgotten winter vegetables, along with swedes and parsnips. Some would add cauliflower and cabbage to the list. We adore turnips, cooked or raw, on their own or in salads.
This recipe from Plenty More by Ottolenghi, blanches the turnips and then mixes them with a heady paste of chilli and spices. It is Oh So Good.
It’s a heady condiment, a bit like a pickle, which keeps in the fridge for a few days. It’s great added to sandwiches, wraps and salads, or served with a curry, with a herby rice, or with roti and chutney.
Some of the quickest and really good spicy dishes from India are those that take a vegetable or two and stir fry them with a few spices. These subzi dishes are wonderful side dishes, or make a simple lunch or supper served with rice or Indian flatbread.
Many of our Winter root vegetables are not as common in India, and most uses of them take existing recipes and replace the vegetable (e.g. carrot) with turnip, swede, parsnip, etc. As the Indian diaspora settles around the world, and as European and American vegetables make greater appearances in India, this will change over time.
This recipe takes a bunch of Winter vegetables and magics them into a subzi. Turnip, Swede and Cauliflower are used. Mixed with onions and spices, it makes a curry worthy of Winter. For freshness, scatter loads of coriander on top and finish with a squeeze of lemon or lime.
Brassicas. Both of our quintessentially winter vegetables – turnip and swede (aka swede turnip and rutabaga) – belong to the brassica family. But they have quite different attitudes. The turnip is sophisticated, while the swede is common and a bit bogan. Turnips are white with purple tops, crisp and slightly bitter. They are perfect eaten raw in salads or as snacks, and are delightful if cooked but still retain some crunch. The flavour mellows on cooking. The swede is pretty unusual in that it’s yellow – more so than its sister vegetable, turnip, and some will say that they are sweeter. But mostly they are described as being strongly flavoured. They can also be eaten raw in salads, or, more commonly, are cooked.
Today, a simple dish with turnips. They are braised quickly in butter and rosemary before being salted and served. A gentle, understated flavour, and delicious.
This delightfully simple salad can be made with either raw or caramelised turnips, for completely different tastes. Caramelising them removes the tang of the raw turnips, so it depends on your tastes and your mood for the day. I love to slice the turnips (or daikon, which can be used instead of turnips), but you can also shred or julienne the raw ones or cut the caramelised ones into thin wedges (about 0.5 cm) before cooking.
It is such a simple salad, it takes 30 seconds to get together once the turnips are prepared.
We use Australian measurements: 1 tspn = 5ml; 1 Tblspn = 20ml; 1 cup = 250ml.
We have had a bit of a thing for turnips this year, and recently we found the most gorgeous ones at the Organic stall in the Adelaide Central Market. It seems a crime to peel them, but we did, and made this gorgeous curry that comes from Kashmir.
The turnips are cooked with spice powders until tender, then coated in a yoghurt sauce. The central spice is fennel and it is a great match to the creamy turnips.
This is a great Winter salad, a great accompaniment to hot Wintery dishes, and healthy as well. Winter root vegetables are julienned and dressed with a chilli vinaigrette before toasted almonds and poppy seeds are added. There is not much that is more delicious than this. You can make it at other times of the year – I do – but it is harder to find kohlrabi or jicama in Summer.
The recipe is an Ottolenghi one, from his book Plenty More. I received my first Ottolenghi book, Ottolenghi, as a gift after a visit to London, and before Yotham had made an impact in Australia. It was an eye opening book at the time, and it is a measure of the impact of Ottolenghi and his crew that we now take as normal many of the ingredients that Yotham introduced and were harder to find at the time.
In fact, today it is Ottolenghi day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish all the latest posts of recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi books – currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often slightly massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry.
Browse all of our Salads and all of our Ottolenghi dishes. We have written about our experiences cooking through Plenty More. Or explore our Mid Winter dishes.