The Veg Plot

A turnip for the cooks – expert tips for your turnip harvest

Turnip recipes

Turnips are rapid growers. From the moment their purple domes start rising from the earth there’s no stopping them – and as they’re much better eaten young you’ll have surplus turnips on your hands in no time. So what to do with them all? They seem to be a greatly undervalued veg by posh TV chefs and their cohorts but we scoured the cookbooks and internet recipes to bring you these ten tasty titbits of turnip inspiration…

Nigel Slater
The veg lover’s go-to cook of choice suggests gently boiling your turnips before tossing them in butter and sugar for a bitter sweet side dish to accompany game dishes. Seek out his book Tender for more exceptional veggie treats.

John Torode
Masterchef’s resident peeler-wielder suggest a dauphinoise-esque turnip and mustard gratin. Turnips don’t get better than this.

Delia Smith
You can always rely on Delia to come up with a simple and effective recipe and this is very much the case with turnips. She likes to lob them into a roast veg medley, giving them equal billing with swedes, spuds, carrots, onions and parsnips.

Nigella Lawson
The lovely lady Lawson is always on telly inviting us into her expansive walk-in larder for a curious ingredient or three. But her recipe for turnip iragi soup looks remarkably free of frippery – and pretty darn tasty too.

Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall
The turnip holds no fear for fish fighting foodie Hugh who nibbles his ‘nips in a hearty looking three root crumble which you can find in his book River Cottage Every Day.

Madhur Jaffrey
Curried turnip? If it’s good enough for curry queen Madhur Jaffrey then it’s good enough for us. She suggests a simple side dish with yoghurt and tomato in her book World Vegetarian.

Gordon Ramsay
Gordon swears by the turnip – especially when he’s caramelising them with mashed potato on his profanity-riddled show The F-Word.

James Martin
Yorkshire’s favourite TV hogging chef has been known to pickle the occasional turnip. Well, who wouldn’t? And he recommends serving his pickled turnip with mackerel.

Mrs Beeton
Back in 1861 the grandmother of all cooks was thinly slicing her turnips, stewing them in a stock with butter and onions, and rubbing them through her tammy for a classic Victorian soup. The recipe can be found in Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management. Now, where can I find a tammy*…

Heston Blumenthal
Fat Duck chef extraordinaire Heston keeps things simple with a light turnip coleslaw. Eh? What’s that? He doesn’t? Of course he doesn’t. His turnips are used to make a custard that imitates the yellow of an egg and is then set afloat in a ‘mock turtle soup with mad hatter tea’. That’s more like it…

*Some sort of sieve. Thankfully.

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