braised baby turnips

braised baby turnips

I think baby-anything is cuter than its adult version. Puppies, kittens, baby seals, baby pandas, regular people babies. Baby vegetables, especially turnips, are cuter than their adult counterparts too – just look at these baby turnips – aren’t they just adorable?

Just look at them – aren’t they adorable? So little and white and perfectly-rounded – bursting with spring freshness! As soon as I saw them at the market, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them and it wasn’t anything complicated. Why mess with perfection?

baby turnips

So what I did was a simple braise – in olive oil and lemon juice with a few garlic cloves thrown in for flavor. Some herbes de Provence a little salt and white pepper – and that’s it. And then I had the turnips with a little white wine, closing my eyes in bliss. They didn’t taste of the earth like mature turnips do, but of the sun and rain, filled with juice, bursting with a sweet flavor – unhardened by the seasons and the temperature. Babies they were – so unpolluted and pure – and so darn cute on my plate, I almost paused to eat them. Almost, of course. And then a few minutes later, they were gone, with a lemony taste lingering in my mouth for a few more moments.

1 bunch baby turnips (about 1 lb)
1 lemon
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (not your most prized stuff, but pretty good should do)
3 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp herbes de provence

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash the turnips and trim their greens so only the little green stumps remain. Place them in an ovenproof clay dish and combine with the remaining ingredients. Mix everything around and be sure to have the turnips evenly coated. You want there to be roughly 1/2 an inch of oil/lemon juice combo.

Cover the dish and cook in the oven for around 40 minutes – when turnips are done, they should be soft when you pierce them. They might also burst a little with juice.

You can eat them plain like I did, or as a side dish to whatever you happen to be making. They’re terribly good, these turnips and we wished we had more of them to go around. I also discovered that you can eat the green stumps on them – they get all lemony and soft and are very tasty!


  • Randy

    I have been trying to find the baby turnips since I saw them prepared on the movie “Last Holiday”. I have been asking all our local produce houses, but all they have come up with is a small full grown one. Your recipe sounds great, and I am patiently waitng to try it. Can you give me a hint as to where I can purchase some? Are there any mail order places that sell fresh produce?

  • radish

    randy, unfortunately, you will need to wait til spring arrives as baby turnips are seasonal only. they are, however, definitely worth the wait!

  • Jill

    Just found some baby turnips at the farmers market (weirdly off season) so I found this delicious looking recipe. However, you don’t say what temperature to roast the turnips. I’m going to go with 375.

  • Lorraine A

    Hi Radish,
    Last Holiday gave me the the bug also. I looked everywhere for baby turnips, which I believe are young versions of regular turnips; maybe tokyo Cross. Unfortunately since I live in the Northern Virginia area, I have not found them in any of the whole food stores. I think I’m going to have to grow them on my own. I have a small garden out back and usually start my plants off in the summer. Since turnips are a cool weather plant, I will start them off after the last frost this spring. I plan to use your recipe. Wish me luck and I’ll tell you how our baby turnips turn out.

  • Kathleen

    Does anyone know how to substitute baby turnips with regular ones? I mean size-wize, not flavor.
    I have a recipe for bison shepherds’ pie (very tasty) and it calls for the baby variety; I am unable to find any, of course….so I’m using regular. I figured two regular turnips should be an ok substitute for 12 babies, ( I guessed 6 babies=one adult) but since i’ve never actually seen them, i have no clue how small they really are.
    Any help is appreciated.

  • p---

    thank for posting this – i made this tonight, and sauteed the greens with some volunteer kale from my garden and fresh green garlic. wonderful, and the lemony oil was perfect on the kale mixed with some baked beans and ham!

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