This gloriously tasty root vegetable deserves to take the spotlight on the table.
I get a certain satisfaction from unearthing and cooking homegrown turnips. It seems that not many people grow or buy them today, but I’m hoping my recipe this week might help to return this gloriously tasty root vegetable into the spotlight and onto the table.
Roasted turnips, potatoes and beetroot with hazelnut-and-rose dukkah and tahini yoghurt (serves 4)
1 red onion
6 cloves garlic, peeled
2 sprigs rosemary
3 sprigs thyme
50g hazelnuts, lightly roasted
1tbspn sesame seeds
Half a tbspn coriander seeds
Half a tbspn cumin seeds
1tspn fennel seeds
1tbspn dried rose petals
1tspn peppercorns 1tspn salt
400ml Greek yoghurt
A couple of handfuls rocket or watercress
Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Wash the turnips, beetroots and potatoes and cut into even-sized wedges (unless they’re very dirty, don’t peel them). Peel and chop the onion and toss everything together with the garlic in olive oil before arranging in a single layer in an ovenproof dish. Add the herbs, season and put in the oven for 45 minutes or until tender.
Meanwhile, prepare the dukkah by grinding together the nuts, seeds, petals, peppercorns and salt, either with a pestle and mortar or a spice grinder, until coarse. In a separate bowl, mix together the Greek yoghurt and tahini.
To assemble the dish, drop dollops of tahini yoghurt onto plates, using the back of a spoon to spread it. Remove the vegetables from the oven, discarding the herb sprigs, then toss together with the rocket or watercress. Spoon this mixture over the yoghurt and sprinkle each dish with the dukkah. Serve immediately.
More ways with turnips
A take on turnip tartiflette
Parboil 4 turnips, cut the centres out and fill with cheese and chopped spring onions. Wrap a rasher of bacon around each turnip and bake in a hot oven for about 30 minutes or until the bacon is cooked and the cheese has melted. Serve with a glass of red wine for a fabulous Sunday supper.
As a root vegetable, turnips work very well mashed. Simply boil in salted water and, once tender, drain and mash with butter and whole milk. Season to taste and serve. This is perfect on a cottage pie.
A simple side of turnips
Cut turnips into wedges and toss in olive oil. Arrange them on an oven tray, season well and sprinkle with grated Parmesan. Bake in a hot oven for 30 minutes and serve immediately.
Grate equal amounts of potato and turnip into a bowl with chopped parsley and crushed garlic, season and mix well. Drop small mounds of the mixture into a pan with melted butter and fry until golden, then turn over the fritter and repeat. Serve with dressed salad leaves and roasted meat.