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Japanese turnips

Wegetable Vednesday, alweady?!

Portland Farmers’ Market

I did get some close-up shots of these beautiful beets and Japanese turnips. But how could I resist including this beautiful arm, itself nearly the color of the earth, laced with its branches and roots?

Portland Park Blocks Farmers’ Market – Saturday April 28, 2012

This is a wonderful farmers’ market, its tents and stalls spreading beneath a canopy of old trees that forms one long park through downtown. Vegetables, fruits, herbs, artisinal breads, pizzas, honeys and jams, every sort of baked good, shrubs and small trees, starts for your garden, children in strollers, bags brimming, fiddlers fiddling, sun and rain and fresh, everywhere earthly fresh. I had enough to carry so left my money in the car blocks and blocks away, knowing that Guinea Pig always carries cash. I left my very big-girl camera at home and brought something smaller. I was happily snapping away, when the camera suddenly seized. Already it was done for the day, and I’d only just started. OK then, time to fill our own basket to brimming. But with all the glorious goodness around us, how would we choose? It became simpler than expected when my husband brought out his crumpled $9, the sum total of what we had. Ruby beets, pale pretty turnips, and rainbow carrots. $3 a bunch. Cash broke and done.

Turnips have never appeared solo in our house, but always as part of a roasted vegetable medley or a soup or stock. Wanting to keep this simple though, I roasted these pretty little things with a bit of olive oil, a scattering of thyme from the garden and flaky salt and white pepper. When they were done, they’d sit on a bed of turnip greens drizzled with balsamic.

Roasted Japanese Turnips & their Balsamic Greens

bunch young Japanese turnips with greens

a dozen sprigs of fresh thyme

olive oil

salt & pepper


drizzle honey

squeeze fresh lemon (Meyer especially good)

white balsamic vinegar

Remove the greens from the turnips, leaving an inch or two of the stalks still attached. Gently scrub the turnips. (No need to peel.) Wash the greens, and then cut in approximately half, keeping the thicker stalks separate from the more delicate leaves. Set greens aside. For easy clean up, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the turnips in half from top to bottom and place cut-side up on the baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, scatter with salt and pepper, toss sprigs of thyme about. Place in a 400°F oven for about 20 minutes. Using tongs, flip the turnips over and continue cooking until tender. (May be about another 20 minutes.)

For the greens: Small-dice about 1 Tablespoon or 2 of shallots. Remove the leaves from several sprigs of thyme. When turnips are nearly done, place a skillet on medium heat. Drizzle olive oil in and when it’s begun to shimmer,  add shallots. Cook half a minute or so, then add the stalks of the greens. Stirring continually, saute for a couple minutes.  Add the green tops. These will wilt & be ready very quickly. Drizzle a spoonful of water, and as it evaporates, add a few shakes of vinegar, a drizzle of honey, thyme leaves, salt and pepper. Plate the greens, roll the turnips in the skillet then scatter about the top of the greens. Give a good squeeze of fresh lemon juice (Meyer if you have it.) Serve.

20 Comments Post a comment
  1. mizvaldes #

    Looks so yummy and healthy. Thanks for sharing.

    May 2, 2012
  2. The market sounds glorious. And I’m tempted by your recipe. So often I’ve wondered how to cook them and inject some flavour. Thank-you !

    May 2, 2012
  3. Oh yumyumyum my mouth is salivating at all that delicatable vegetable goodness!

    May 2, 2012
  4. That is such a beautiful recipe! I also live in Portland and will be heading to a farmer’s market tomorrow…I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for those Japanese turnips!

    May 2, 2012
  5. Ali #

    I love these photos, especially the first one!! Looking forward to this entire series!

    May 2, 2012
  6. Oh.. spree.. your market looks like it’s miles ahead of ours.. for starts, it’s outside:) Rain or shine that’s so much nicer than our indoor one. And the selection you’ve described is just wonderful for spring.. I love your pretty spring turnips, they look so delicate in color and shape.. my favorite photo is the zoomed in one with sprigs of thyme.. such a fresh food photo for your Wegetable Wednesday (I know!! How did Wednesday get here so soon!!)) xoxo Smidge

    May 2, 2012
  7. I love that light on basket photo and this whole Wegetable Vednesday idea. So great to celebrate the beautiful food that already is. You do so like none other. These look delish! Turnips not something I’ve ever had either — alone, without roasting companions. I love that market! Let’s go soon. 🙂

    May 2, 2012
  8. Look at all of those lovely plants and flowers. I never eat turnips and turnip greens together — don’t know why: makes perfect sense the way you do it.

    May 2, 2012
  9. Fabulous pictures of very cool subjects. I’ve never seen the Japanese variety of turnip. Maybe it can’t get past French bureaucracy:)

    May 2, 2012
  10. A riot of beautiful colours and flavours…wish we could get all those varieties here! Especially loved the quirkiness of that first shot.

    May 3, 2012
  11. Looks like you had a successful day at the farmers market. Your photography for this post is, as always, incredible and the recipe sounds delicious. My favorite farmers market opens this Saturday and I’m looking forward to returning. My weekends just don’t seem right without a walk through a market.

    May 3, 2012
  12. It is a wonderful farmers’ market. And you are an incredibly talented photographer.

    May 3, 2012
  13. Thank you for the little glimpse into your farmer’s market Ani. We don’t get Japanese turnips here but your recipe sounds like a beautiful healthy celebration of them

    May 3, 2012
  14. I love baby turnips…such a lovely flavor.

    May 4, 2012
  15. such beautfiul photographs, thank you for sharing. I’ve never wanted to a turnip more than now!

    May 4, 2012
  16. This looks very healthy!!
    Lovely photos, Antoinette!

    May 7, 2012
  17. What gorgeous veggies! This sounds healthy and delicious. I agree–absolutely stunning photos. 🙂

    May 9, 2012
  18. As always, incredible, edible photography, my dearest!

    May 20, 2012
  19. We really enjoyed this recipe. I would like to share it with our CSA members by providing a link back to your website in our newsletter. Would that be OK? Thank you for your response. Robin

    April 5, 2013
    • By all means Robin! Thank you, I’d love that!

      April 5, 2013

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