This was the third week of market; there were thirteen vendors with tables full of items to sell. Produce that was available included radishes, rhubarb, green onions, spinach, lettuce, asparagus, garlic, and turnips. I had a delightful surprise. My little granddaughter Morgyn came to market to visit Grandma Dawn. I got to introduce Morgyn to all the vendors and some customers on this fantastic Friday night. Grandma Dawn was smiling this market night.
Darold Laackman from Keystone brought turnips to the Toledo Farmers' Market on this third week of market. Turnips are a root vegetable, a relative of radishes and arugula. Turnips are a member of the mustard family. Some don't like turnips, maybe because they had large or old turnips which can become unpleasantly hot. Or maybe they were not cooked right or with the right combination of milder vegetables like potatoes. Young turnips add a great zip to dishes or just raw with a luscious vegetable dip. Turnips are best in the spring or the fall, when they are small and sweet. Turnips are a great root vegetable to store for winter use.
When making your purchase of fresh turnips look for brightly colored turnips with a creamy looking bulbs and a violet hued ring around the tops. Baby turnips may not have developed their violet tops though. Look for turnips without blemishes that fell heavy for their size.
If you want to store turnips, remove the greens when you get them home. Clean and store turnips loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in the crisper of the fridge, or if your lucky and have a root cellar, store loose. Like any root vegetable they want a cool dark, dry environment.
When cooking turnips, they are delicious roasted, mashed, baked or in a soup or stew. The hot flavor turnips have makes them well suited to mixing and matching with other root vegetables. Add a turnip or two to your favorite mashed potatoes recipe or a pan of roasted vegetables.
Roasting mellows the sharp flavor turnips may have.
Take 2 lbs of turnips
1 Tbsp olive oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Trim turnips. Leave baby turnips whole, cut larger turnips into a large-ish bite size pieces. Put turnips into a baking pan. Drizzle with olive oil. Use your hands or two large spoons to toss the turnips to coat them thoroughly with the oil. Sprinkle with salt. I use Kosher salt. Roast turnips until tender and browned, start checking on them after about 30 minutes. Depending on the size and the age of the turnips, it may take them up to an hour or more to get completely tender. This will serve 6-8.