Turnip tales

May 19, 2011 | By | Comments (3)


Confession: I’ve never cooked with turnips. In fact, when our test garden coordinator, Johanna Silver, brought in a big bunch of fresh-from-the-earth ‘Tokyo’ turnips, I thought they were radishes. This type in particular is known for being extra mild and sweet when cooked; they’re sort of a chef’s darling these days.

What do you do with turnips?  Margo True, our food editor, suggested braising, which sounded appealing. In the end, I decided to fuse braising with grilling by putting the turnips in a foil packet with a little yellow miso, soy sauce, sugar, and water and sticking them on the grill. They turned out juicy, tender, and sweet, although they took a lot longer to cook than I had expected.


Grilled miso turnips

1 tbsp. yellow miso

1 tbsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce

1 tsp. sugar

¼ cup water

24 small, cleaned ‘Tokyo’ turnips (any type will do—just cut them into chunks if they’re large)

Prepare a grill for indirect heat (we’ve been testing camping recipes for an upcoming story in the magazine, so we’ve had a lot of grills going). Divide turnips among sheets of foil, curl up edges, and divide miso mixture among packets. Seal to close (making sure your crimp faces upwards so you don’t lose any juices). Grill packets until turnips are tender, about 1 hour, (you’ll need to peek inside a packet and test them with a knife).

What’s your favorite way to prepare turnips?



  1. Ann

    Raw, actually. They are also sweet and mild raw, and if you sprinkle a little sea salt on thinly sliced pieces, they are crazy delicious. My CSA farmers call them spring salad turnips.

    May 23, 2011 at 4:45 am
  2. Jacky

    I had never had these type of turnips before this year’s CSA. I like them grated into salad, sauteed, and recently made this turnip kimchi. http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/turnip-kimchi Delicious! Like the recipe you posted, look forward to trying it.

    May 23, 2011 at 2:26 am
  3. Rachel

    I love to use turnips in fall cooking. I steam them along with other root veggies and put them into pot pies and mock shepherd’s pies. I also use them in potato casseroles to amp up the veggie content in a sneaky way. Since they are the same color as potatoes my picky husband and child don’t realize they are eating veggies! This fact is also true for rutabagas.

    May 21, 2011 at 1:43 am

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