THE DISH ON EATING LOCAL TURNIPS
3 ways you can enjoy discovering local turnips in your area!
1. Find Turnips at your Local Market
Not only is eating local turnips good for you, they are also good for the environment and your community! According to Local First Arizona Foundation, “Eating local is one of the single most impactful choices you can make to reduce your individual carbon footprint.” The continued support of local markets and farmers allow sustainable practices for farming in Arizona.
You can find turnips all across Arizona. Here are some of the local farmers markets where you can find turnips in your area, and contribute to growing your vibrant community!
2. Eat Turnips at your Local Restaurant
Many local restaurants endorse sourcing out some of the best ingredients, but do they use local ingredients? Here is one such restaurant we have discovered that uses local turnips in this wonderful dish by Chef Charleen Badman called Gilfeather Turnips with Ginger Crème Fraîche & Chives. Below is the information to find out more on this location and restaurant.
FnB in Scottsdale
7125 E 5th Ave #31
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
To find more local restaurants sourcing local ingredients click here!
Recipes change all the time and viewers should check with all restaurants to find out what’s on the menu currently.
3. Learn a Recipe to Make it Yourself
Want to discover how to make this local turnips dish? Watch the video on just how easy it is to bring Farm to your table.
Serving Size: 6
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 90 minutes
Chef Charleen Badman's Gilfeather Turnips with Ginger Crème Fraîche & Chives
- 6 medium Gilfeather turnips, washed, the rootlets running down two sides removed with a paring knife (if not available, Hakurei turnips can be used as a substitute)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
- 4 tablespoons olive oil or canola-olive blend, divided
- 2 tablespoons snipped chives
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Place turnips whole in roasting pan with sides as high as they are.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper, drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil, and pour ¼ cup water into bottom of pan.
- Cover pan with aluminum foil and bake until a knife inserted comes out easily, with caramelized spots here and there (1 to 1 ½ hours).
- Once turnips are cold (or cool enough to handle), press them firmly with the palm of your hand.
- Try to keep them in one piece about ¾-inch thick, although the sides will split a bit.
- Take a sauté pan, heat the remaining oil, and sauté until crispy on both sides, turning them once like a pancake.
- If any are a little thicker than the rest, put them in the oven one more time to make sure they are well heated throughout.
- Place on a platter, top with ginger crème fraîche and chives, and serve.
For ginger crème fraîche:
- 1 cup crème fraîche
- Thumb-sized piece of ginger (approx. 1 inch), peeled and grated on a micro-plane
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper
- Stir ginger into crème fraîche, season to taste with salt and pepper. Chill until ready to serve.
WE’RE ROOTING FOR TURNIPS!
Want to know more about local turnips?
Turnips were once one of the most commonly eaten vegetables in the world, largely due to their hardy nature. Believed to have been first cultivated in central Asia, turnips have been part of dietary staples for over 4,000 years, not just for people but for livestock as well. Unfortunately, as the popularity of the potato grew, people’s taste for turnips dwindled. Once considered the vegetable of the paupers, turnips have had a slow resurgence as people once again discover ways to include them in their diets in fun and interesting ways.
Even though turnips are generally thought of as root vegetables, they are a part of the cabbage family. Some varieties, in fact, have no roots and are grown just for their leafy turnip greens, but the vast majority of turnips are grown for – and known for – their roots. Often confused with rutabagas, turnips are generally white or yellowish with a crown that’s purple or green where it’s been exposed to the sun. Most varieties have a slightly spicy taste when eaten raw which lessens when cooked. Younger turnips are sweeter than their older counterparts. Turnips grow well in places with cold winters. In fact, turnips will often have a sweeter taste if they’re harvested after a frost.
Turnips are good sources of vitamin C and copper. They’re high in dietary fiber, making them a great addition to reduce flare-ups in diverticulitis and other dietary issues. They’re high in iron, which increases circulation. Turnips improve your metabolism, boost your immune system, act as anti-inflammatories, strengthen your heart and bones, maintain vision, and possibly help prevent cancer.
There are a number of varieties of turnips, including the purple top Milan, the Manchester market, the Tokyo, the golden ball, the snow ball, the green globe, the hakurei, the early flat red top, and the brassica rapa. The Gilfeather turnip, created by Vermont farmer John Gilfeather in the early 1900s, looks like a rutabaga but has the white flesh of a turnip. It has a milder, sweeter, and creamier taste than other turnips. In 2016, it became Vermont’s official state vegetable.
Turnips used to be associated with Halloween. Before people carved pumpkins, they carved turnips! In the British Isles, they would carve lanterns from turnips and rutabagas to ward off harmful spirits. In Scotland in the Middle Ages, children would roam the streets in hideous masks carrying carved turnips they called ‘tumshie heads.’ Some places to this day still carve turnips and rutabagas to look as threatening as possible and put them in their windowsills or on their doorsteps to ward off evil spirits.
When buying fresh turnips, look for vibrantly colored turnips with creamy looking bulbs with a violet-hued ring around the tops. Generally, turnips are better when they’re young – they’re softer, sweeter, and more delicate in flavor. (Baby turnips might not have that ring yet and might look more like white spring radishes.) Search for turnips with their greens attached so you know they’ve been freshly collected – the greens should be brightly colored. They should be heavy for their size still with no nicks or cuts. Turnips will keep, tightly wrapped, in your fridge for up to two weeks. Before cooking, peel them and trim their tops (which you can save and use as well!).
Buying local turnips is beneficial to the local economy, good for the environment, and support a healthy lifestyle. When we purchase turnips from a local market or farmers market, we make an active choice to know exactly where our food is coming from. With all the farmers right here in the state of Arizona, we can be assured that your produce is being taken care of from the seed to the market stand.