After recently making a public declaration of our newfound love of roasted Brussels sprouts, I decided I should branch out and try new vegetables I've either never tasted or never prepared myself. Thanks to a reader's suggestion, turnips were next on my list. 

Surprisingly, they were very easy to find at my local grocery store and they were very reasonably priced. (Only $1.39/lb. if I remember correctly.) So after snagging four purple-tipped turnips, I was happily on my way home to try them out. 

I did a little online research to find a recipe that was healthy, simple, and contained few (but already on hand) ingredients. I landed on a recipe that called for roasting them in a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sounds easy enough, right? 

I got to work by first peeling the four turnips.

At this point, I opted to taste a small piece of raw turnip. It reminded me a lot of a radish actually even though they look just like peeled potatoes. Then, following the recipe, I cut them into small 1" size pieces.

I then combined 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar in a large bowl.

After mixing thoroughly, I gently tossed the cut turnips with the oil and vinegar mixture.  

Next, I spread them out in a single layer on a baking sheet. I baked them at 450 degrees for 35 minutes, flipping them once midway through cooking...and voila. They turned a lovely caramelized shade of brown loveliness just begging to be eaten.

But that may be where the fun ends kids. (Insert the whomp, whomp sound here.) Roasted turnips fell a little flat in my book. In fact, they tasted a little bit like feet that have spent the last several hours in a sweaty tennis shoe (or what I imagine that would taste like). Maybe it was the preparation of the parsnips, a bad batch, or just a personal aversion. Lulu oddly enough really enjoyed the few raw pieces I fed to her.

Worry not. I'm still have a strong resolve to continue on in my quest to discover new and tasty roasted vegetables. Up next? Parsnips.

What's your take on turnips? Dee-lish or dee-sgusting? Any other vegetables you're experimenting with this winter? Something else you think is worth trying out? Or maybe you have a bang up recipe for turnips I should try before totally dismissing them?

Oh, and in case you're wondering, yes I really did just take a photo of my own unattractive foot to post for the world to see. But trust me when I say you should be thanking me for not making Alex the foot model of Old Town Home. Alien toes. Seriously, the kid has toes that look like fingers.

Comments 18


2/15/2012 at 11:17 AM
Ahaha, turnips are the worst! Although, my mom makes a mashed turnip and carrot mush that's actually pretty good. I think it involves a lot of butter and cinnamon, though.
Mmmm. Butter and cinnamon do tend to improve just about anything!
Paul F. Bove
2/15/2012 at 11:35 AM
I've never had a turnip taste like a foot. I suggest rutabaga if you're looking for good root vegetables that are delicious and nutritious. Roast with oil, Italian seasonings of your liking, and salt at 450 for 45 minutes or more. Delicious. And thank you for not posting Alex's feet.
I've never tried rutabaga, thanks for the suggestion!

And you're welcome. ;-)
2/15/2012 at 12:38 PM
I tried a roasted turnip recipe last year that had maple syrup in it. Tasted a lot like what I think candied wood glue would taste like. They were also strangely liquidy. Definitely a pass for this house! Roasted cauliflower, on the other hand - amazing!
Candied wood glue -- that's hilarious!

Will definitely have to give roasted cauliflower a try. Thanks Lindsey!
2/15/2012 at 1:37 PM
I second the suggestion for rutabaga (or swede) - they are awesome (I love mashing them along with potatoes - they add a nice sweetness). Also, I loooove parsnips. They are great roasted along with carrots, rosemary, and a little honey :)
Oooh, the rosemary and honey sounds amazing! Definitely on my list. Thanks Jill!
2/15/2012 at 1:46 PM
Simple turnips are wonderful. Just cut them up the way you did for the "stinky feet" version and boil them in water until they are tender, then drain and add a little butter and pepper. They are spicey and delicious this way. You should grow them in your garden this summer.
I'll have to give that a try Margie, thank you. (That is, once I forget about the feet taste of my current batch!) ;-)
Sarah R
2/15/2012 at 1:50 PM
Never tried roasted turnips before, so not sure if they all taste like feet or not!

My two favorite things to roast are broccoli and kale.

I use this broccoli recipe (Alton Brown's Roasted Broccoli)

and for roasted kale (aka Kale chips) I use basically this recipe, although I use whatever vinegar I have on hand (and sometimes use no vinegar and just salt and pepper):

Happy roasting!
Thanks Sarah! I haven't tried roasting broccoli. Usually we eat it raw or steamed, but it sounds great.

Baked kale is soooo delicious. I'll have to give your recipe a try though. :-)
2/15/2012 at 2:28 PM
We got them in our fall CSA box. I didn't mind the raw taste. I made them a couple times with pot roast and didn't really care for them either.
So glad I'm not alone here. This may be one of the vegetables I don't like. (This and lima beans.)
2/15/2012 at 5:16 PM
Ick, I hate lima beans too.
2/15/2012 at 6:44 PM
I am a southerner through and through, but I don't like turnips. I can't get past the smell. I do like the turnip greens, but they have to be seasoned well and served with pepper sauce and cornbread. I tried parsnips, once.
Mmm. Greens with pepper sauce and cornbread sounds awesome.
2/20/2012 at 3:24 PM
A humble suggestion is to stick with the humble roots (ha) of this vegetable, and prepare how I've had it in southern VA --boil cubed (with seasoning meat or salt as desired) and eat as is, or mashed, with white vinegar, salt, and pepper. It's very tasty and not fattening. Roasting with oil must not bring out the best in turnips.

My husband's collard greens with turnips and rutabagas are a big hit with devotees of southern cooking/soul food. He cooks peeled and cubed rutabagas and turnips in water with a bit of ham and/or Better than Bouillon ham base and pepper to develop the broth, then cooks fresh collards in that (first removing the rutabagas and turnips so they don't turn to mush). Folks who are used to adding vinegar or hot sauce to collards like these better without, just as they come out of the pot. Rutabagas and turnips can be added back to the greens or served as a separate dish.
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