Turnips + Turnip Greens
About me: Turnips are a root vegetable, related to arugula and radishes, which are members of the mustard family. We grow a few types of turnips, white, hinona kabu, and purple top. The white turnips are usually smaller and sweeter. These guys are great eaten raw in salads, but can be cooked as well. Hinona kabu is a beautiful variety that is long and slender with bright purple shoulders where the sun has hit it. The spiciness of hinona kabu falls somewhere in between the white and purple top. The purple top variety has a bit more of a bite. They are usually a little larger and have a bit of heat or mustard flavour to them. We like cooking, roasting, or mashing this type. The greens from both types can be eaten raw or cooked.
Turnip greens are coarse, have a slight bite, and look very similar to radish leaves. It is good to blanch them before cooking. They do well combined with other greens and cooked lightly with oil, vinegar, hot sauce, ground red pepper, sugar, garlic, or onions, or try them in a soup.
One of our many lovely farm pests, the flea beetle, loves to chew on the leaves and roots of turnips. This damage is usually superficial and can be peeled away from roots and the leaves can still be eaten.
Storage: (Roots) Store turnips separately from the stems and leaves. Place roots in a mesh bag, or paper towel, and then place inside a reused plastic bag, or container inside your fridge crisper. They will keep for about 4-6 weeks.
(Greens): Cut turnip greens from their roots; store roots separately. Keep dry, unwashed greens in a mesh bag, then covered with a reused plastic bag in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks.
To Freeze: (Roots) Wash, and chop turnips and blanch for 3 minutes. Dunk in cold water to stop cooking process. Place in freezer bag or container. You can also purée turnips after they have been blanched and freeze the purée for soups or a mash over the winter months.
(Greens): Blanch washed greens for 2-3 minutes. Rinse in cold water to stop the cooking process, drain, and pack into airtight containers, and freeze.