Indy Winter Farmers Market Vegetable Highlight for February: Turnips
Turnips get a bad rap. Admit it, you have overlooked them. Plain white or purple-pink and white, these root veggies are often sidelined for their potato and carrot cousins. But they are an easy-to-grow legume and have a variety of uses that might help you find ways to increase your veggie intake.
First, there are a few different kinds of turnips you can buy. Let’s skip turnip greens for now, as those are fairly more familiar and have their own recipes of note later on in the season (though we love this recipe: Mixed Greens with Turkey , or this spicy veggie version). Purple and white turnips are usually softball sized and often come without their leaves. These turnips are often cooked roasted, braised, or in soups. They are a great addition to roasted vegetables and rice. Sometimes they are pickled. Try this recipe for Turnips in Mustard Sauce. The smaller, often white turnips are most often used for salads. You can slice these and eat raw in salads for an added crunch and spice (as in this recipe from the New York Times).
When choosing turnips, look for smooth skins and a sweet-like aroma. Once you get them home to cook, wash the skin before chopping or slicing. Peeling is optional. Turnip flavor, mild and slightly peppery, goes well with other root vegetables, mushrooms, bacon, and onions.
For pairing with a turnip, Sun King recommends one of two beers. If you’re making a salad and using fresh raw turnips, go with Sunlight Cream Ale. Cream Ale will pair well with the delicate and sometimes citrusy flavors of the salad while also cutting through the bitter, spicy, almost radish like quality of the fresh turnip. If you decide to cook your turnips and serve them roasted, braised, or in soups, then we recommend going with Wee Mac Scottish Ale. The richness of Wee Mac’s malt will be a perfect complement to the hearty nature of the warm root vegetable.
Molly Trueblood, IWFM Market Manager