A root vegetable similar in appearance to beets. Turnips are considered to have a strong flavor which can be undesirable in certain dishes if some of the flavor isn't allowed to escape during cooking.

Turnips provide a good source of fiber and vitamin C, and are naturally low in calories.

Both the greens as well as the root are edible.


Other names: rhutabaga
Translations: Rācenis, Ropė, Nap turcesc, Repa, Cây củ cải, Rzepa, Raap, शलजम, Nabo, Репа, Γογγύλι, لفت نبات, 순무, Vodnice, Lobak, Singkamas, 芜菁, Nap, Repa, Okrúhlica, Rapa, לפת, Rova, Репа, カブ, Navet, Rübe, Majroe, Nepe, Nabo, Ріпа, Nauris, Ряпа

Physical Description

Most common type of turnip is mostly white skinned apart from the upper 1-6 centimeters, which protrude above the ground and are purple, red, or greenish wherever sunlight has fallen.

Entire root is roughly conical, but can be occasionally tomato-shaped about 5-20 centimeters in diameter and lacks side roots.

Colors: White with purplish blushing

Tasting Notes

Flavors: sweet, peppery, bitter
Mouthfeel: Crunchy, Crisp, Sharp, Peppery
Food complements: Roasted fennel, Parsnips and carrots, Beef or poultry
Wine complements: Pinot grigio, Chardonnay, Verdicchio, American sauvignon blanc, American chardonnay, Red
Beverage complements: Iced tea
Substitutes: Rutabagas, Roasted parsnips, Mustard greens, Beet greens, Chard

Selecting and Buying

Seasonality: january, february, june, july, august, september, opctober, november, december
Choosing: Choose turnips that are firm, heavy and have unblemished skin.
Buying: Turnips are readily available in most growers
Procuring: Turnips are very easy to grow because they are tolerant to frost and drought

Preparation and Use

You can peel them with a potato peeler, then cut into small chunks, but just cleaning and slicing without peeling is fine too as the entire vegetable is edible.

Cleaning: Wash the outer part carefully before adding to salads

Conserving and Storing

Store turnips in a cool, dry, place.


History: Turnip was a well-established crop in Hellenistic and Roman times, which leads to the assumption that it was brought into cultivation earlier.

Wild forms of hot turnip and its relatives the mustards and radish are found ever west Asia and Europe, suggesting that their domestication took place somewhere in that area.

The Turnip (Brassica rapa L.) is a root Brassica crop and has been used as a vegetable for human consumption in Europe since prehistoric times. Turnip root has been a popular livestock fodder for at least 600 years wherever the crop can be grown. For most of that time turnip roots have been managed as forage. Researchers in the United States determined in the early 1900s that turnip roots are valuable energy sources for young ruminant animals. However, livestock farmers at that time were turning away from the Brassica root crops (which also include rutabagas or swedes) for fodder because much hand labor was required for the production and utilization of the large roots. One study showed that the labor requirement on a nutrient basis for these crops was three times that needed for corn silage production.

In the late 1970s, however, researchers began to demonstrate the potential of turnip as pasture. The development of varieties with partially exposed roots rendered the roots more available to grazing animals. Livestock graze turnip tops and roots readily, and the forage is of high quality. Pasturing eliminates the need for manual labor in harvesting and storing. In general, the root Brassicas are fast-growing, high yielding and well adapted to seeding into existing pastures with little or no tillage or to seeding into a conventionally prepared seedbed.



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