Turnips are part of the same club as many winter veggies: under-used and under-appreciated. But at the Barn we love our turnips! They look similar to radishes or rutabagas, and have the same bitter flavor. Turnips tend to be mostly white with just a splash of color where the sunlight hit the root above ground. One cup of cooked turnips is an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of dietary fiber. And if you eat a cup of the greens, cooked, you also get vitamins A and K, plus folate, calcium, copper, and manganese! Sounds like a good idea to hang onto those greens, huh?
Turnips are easy to grow at home and yield a large crop. They are a cool-weather plant and grow best in the spring and fall, typically harvested 30-60 days after planting. Turnips should be pulled out of the ground when the roots are about 2-4 inches apart. It’s better to pick them sooner than later, before the roots get too big and fibrous.
Like most root veggies, turnips do well roasted or can be boiled and mashed with other root vegetables. They are also delicious shaved raw into salads for some crunch and a pop of flavor. Kids can’t resist our delicious turnip pierogis (recipe below). Pierogis are a traditional Polish dumpling usually stuffed with mashed potatoes, so we added mashed turnips to boost your dietary intake of vitamin C, which will definitely help out your immune system during this year’s cold & flu season!
Get your kids involved in a cultural cooking adventure by making these Turnip Pierogi! A traditional Polish dish, pierogi are quarter-moon shaped dumplings made with dough and filling. Our pierogi spin off from the traditional Polish type of potato, cheese, and onion with a special ingredient: turnips! Turnips add an extra dose of vitamin C to this dish which is great for our immune system. Pierogi are typically semicircular in Polish cuisine; our quick version uses won ton wrappers resulting in triangles. Have fun making and eating turnips!
¼ pound russet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½ inch chunks
¼ pound turnips, peeled and cut into ½ inch chunks
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 small white onion, finely diced
1/3 cup shredded Cabot 50% reduced fat cheddar cheese (1.3 oz)
2 green onions, thinly sliced, divided
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 package of won ton wrappers (50 wrappers)
1 1/2 cups non-fat plain Greek yogurt
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add potatoes and turnips and cook until fork tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat and cook onions until they soften and lightly brown, about 4-6 minutes.
- Mash the potatoes and turnips in a large mixing bowl with a potato masher or fork. Add cooked onions, cheese, 1 green onion, sea salt and pepper and combine.
- Fill a small bowl with water to use as “glue.” Place 1 wrapper square in your hand and coat 2 adjacent edges with water, using finger as a brush. Place 1 teaspoon potato mixture in center of wrapper, then bring 2 opposite corners of wrapper together over filling to make a triangle. Pinch and pleat edges together to seal in filling. Repeat process with remaining wrappers and mixture.
- To cook the pierogi, bring a large pot of water to a boil and add pierogi one at a time, until the bottom of the pan is covered with pierogi. Do not overcrowd, and work in small batches at a time. When the pierogi are done, they will float to the top, approximately 2-3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon. Transfer to a bowl, and repeat until all pierogi have been cooked.
- To make the dipping sauce, combine Greek yogurt and remaining green onion in a small bowl. Serve pierogi with Greek yogurt dipping sauce on the side.
Makes 10 servings (5 pierogi and 2 ½ tablespoons dipping sauce per serving).
Nutrition Facts per serving: 140 calories; 1.5g fat (0g sat fat, 0.5g mono, 0g trans fats); 10mg cholesterol; 23g carbohydrate (1g fiber, 3g sugar); 8g protein; 260mg sodium; 2% Daily Value (DV) vitamin A; 10% DV vitamin C; 10% DV calcium; 8% DV iron.