This article was first featured in the Clemson Area Food Exchange newsletter
Baby Hakurei turnips are in full force right now. They are easy to grow and have a shorter window to maturity than a traditional turnip, making them an appealing crop for fall, winter, and spring. They are great as a cover crop, helping loosen and prepare beds for summer crops and recover after them.
If you’re thinking, “I don’t like turnips!” Then you might try these. The roots are smaller, sweeter, and less turnip-y than the average purple topped traditional ones. Because of their shorter growing window, the greens reap the same benefit and are not as bitter and bug infested either!
Roasting the roots, enhances the natural sweetness and worked with the slightly bitter greens, they are truly delicious. This makes an excellent side for supper or a great little farmers lunch. Either way, you should try this super-simple way to introduce tender baby turnips and greens into your repertoire!
2 bunches of baby Hakurei turnips with their greens
2 TB neutral oil
Salt and pepper
½ small onion, sliced or chopped
2 slices thick cut bacon, jowl or fatback chopped into small pieces
1 TB apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
2. Remove the greens from the roots. Wash roots to remove any dirt and slice greens into ribbons and wash.
3. Cut turnips in half or fourths if large. On a baking sheet, toss with oil, salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat, set aside.
4. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, add chopped bacon/fatback and render until crispy. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes until translucent. Reduce heat to low, add greens to the skillet, stirring until wilted, 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, add lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. Taste and add more seasonings, as needed.
5. Serve the roasted turnips over the greens!