Glazed Hakaurei Turnips

I honestly cannot remember the last time I cooked turnips or even if I have ever cooked them. I’m an official turnip-hater, likely because of a childhood memory of a lump of mashed yellow mush on my plate that had to be suffered through if I was to entertain any thought of getting dessert.
All that changed today. At the S.O.L. Farm stand at the Farmer’s Market today I spotted something I’d never seen before: Hakaurei turnips. They are small, round white turnips with leaves that look similar to giant dandelion greens. I learned that these were developed in Japan in the ’50’s when there were food shortages after World War II. They have a delicate, sweet flavour and are crisp and tender. The leaves are edible too and are a source of Vitamin A and probably a host of other nutrients as well.

I found a Bon Appetit recipe that I adapted and I served these alongside barbecued wild sockeye salmon and fresh asparagus tonight.

2 bunches (about 8-10) hakurei turnips, tops removed (reserve) and stems and roots trimmed
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. sugar
pinch of sea salt (Try Vancouver Island Salt Co., also available at the Saturday market.)

Place turnips in a skillet. Add water to cover turnips halfway. Add butter, sugar, and a large pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is syrupy and turnips are tender, about 15 minutes. If turnips are tender before the liquid has reduced, use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a plate and reduce liquid until syrupy. Return turnips to pan and toss to coat well.
Remove from skillet and keep warm.

Turnip greens, trimmed to remove any tough stems
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. Extra Virgin olive oil

Heat oil in skillet and saute garlic. Add turnip greens and cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes until just wilted. Toss to coat with the garlic oil mixture. Serve as a bed for the turnips.

Try them. Even if you’ve always shunned turnips, I’d be willing to bet you’ll like these.

I suspect these would also be good raw, thinly sliced or julienned into a vegetable slaw. Note to self: buy more at next Saturday’s market.

Have you tried them before? How do you serve them?

About joinmefordinner

. . . living in the Cowichan Valley, cooking for my appreciative family and friends, and taking advantage of all this area has to offer including local organic produce, cheese, wine, artisan breads, and fresh-caught seafood.
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