Although the turnip has been grown for more than 4,000 years and was one of the first foods to be cultivated in Europe, it
is currently underappreciated: It keeps well, takes to almost any cooking method, and has a subtly flavored, tasty flesh.
Season: Year-round; peak October through February.
How to Choose Turnips
Look for firm, unblemished specimens with white flesh and a purple-tinged top. Pick the smallest specimens, ranging in size from that of a golf ball to a tennis ball; any larger and they become coarse in texture and lack flavor. If the greens are attached and you’d like to cook them, make sure they are bright green and crisp.
How to Store Turnips
When stored at the ideal temperature of 55 degrees in a cool, dry place (such as a basement or root cellar), turnips can last for 1 month; they can also be tightly wrapped and refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. If the greens are attached, remove them, leaving an inch or two of stem at the top, and refrigerate them separately, unwashed, in a plastic bag for up to 3 days.
How to Prepare Turnips
Before using, wash, peel, and trim off the root ends. Because they contain almost no starch, turnips remain moist after cooking. But don’t overcook them or they will become mushy and develop a cabbage-like flavor.
How to Cook Turnips
Turnips can be boiled and mashed as a substitute for potatoes. Small, golf ball-sized turnips can be sprinkled with salt and eaten raw.
Real Simple Turnip Recipes:
Fruits and vegetables at their peak right now.
Find out what's in season in your area right now, then locate a farmers' market near you.