For many people, turnips are a once-a-year food found mashed alongside a holiday roast. However, these hardy and versatile root vegetables have more to offer. On their own, turnips have a slightly peppery flavor and, when cooked, they also develop a sweetness. With a little creativity, turnips can make a delightful contribution to meals all year round.
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Middle Eastern Exotic
Middle Eastern spices like cumin, coriander and cardamon tease out the sweetness of the turnip and add an exotic flavor. The key is to tread lightly. For 1 lb. of roasted turnip, start by dusting with just 1/4 tsp. of ground spice. Taste the result before adding more. To make roasted turnip, peel and chop 1 lb. of turnip. Toss with oil and roast at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes or until browned.
Perk up pureed turnip by adding nutty caraway seeds. Add 1 tsp. of caraway seeds to 1 lb. of pureed turnip. To make pureed turnip, peel and chop 1 lb. of turnip. Boil for 15 minutes or until tender. Mash with 1 tbsp. of butter and 1/4 cup of milk or cream.
A light dusting of chili powder and sea salt over oven-fried turnip slices will coax out the peppery flavor in the turnip and provide a nice change of pace from oven-fried potatoes. To make oven fries, slice the turnip into strips and roast at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 to 30 minutes until lightly browned.
Pale pink pickled turnip is a staple of Middle Eastern cuisine. It is made by marinating lightly boiled turnip slices in a mixture of garlic, vinegar and salt combined with a few slices of beet for color. The result is great when chopped up on falafel or served alongside grilled meats.