Roasted Turnips: Heavenly Side

Roasted turnips. Photos by Keri White

Turnips get a bad rap.

People have flashbacks to watery mash cooked by an elderly aunt that tasted both dismally bland and harshly sharp. I shudder to recall the stuff, and the scarring flavor left me avoiding turnips for much of my adult life.

However, I am committed to eating local produce whenever possible and, in the winter months, that can be downright difficult. I was able to find some local turnips at a farm stand recently, and my horrific memories were outweighed by a desire to support a farmer, so I bought two.

I roasted them simply, as described below, and it occurred to me that these would be a great Passover side — they add some interest, variety and flavor to the typical root veggies that comprise tzimmes, but they are slightly unexpected. They would definitely play well in the sandbox with sweet potatoes, carrots and potatoes laced with oil and a drizzle of honey, salt and pepper for your seder side, but are equally good on their own as a side to pretty much any dinner.

In our case, they accompanied a roast chicken, and the roasted turnips swept away any lingering memories of their unfortunately mashed format.

Raw turnips

Roasted Turnips
Serves 4 generously

I like my veggies slightly charred, so I let the bottom cook to a dark crisp. If this is not to your liking, keep an eye on the turnips, and stir/turn them over once or twice during the cooking process.

2 large turnips, peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
Generous sprinkling of fresh cracked pepper

Heat your oven to 375 degrees F.

Line a rimmed cooking tray with parchment, and toss the turnip pieces on the parchment with oil, salt and pepper. Be sure the oil and seasonings are evenly distributed.

Roast the turnips in your oven for about 45 minutes.


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