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Turnips are in season now and an abundance of greens and roots are being harvested to fill CSA baskets and farmer’s markets across the United States. This savory, flavorful side dish will help you make the most of your nutritious turnip greens.
As a member of the cruciferous vegetable family, which includes broccoli, kale, radishes and cabbage, the turnip is considered a top veggie when it comes to disease-preventing phytochemicals. Studies have shown that these compounds help the body both ward off and detoxify cancer-causing substances.
Turnip greens are supercharged with vitamin A (through their concentration of carotenoids such as beta-carotene), vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B6, folate, copper, calcium, and dietary fiber. Use turnip greens wherever you would use beet greens, kale, cabbage or collard greens.
Those with thyroid conditions should limit their intake of turnips (and all cruciferous veggies) since they contain substances called goitrogens, which can interfere with the functioning of the thyroid gland. For others, however, the turnip can be very healing.
Turnip Green Selection and Storage
If they comes with greens attached, remove the greens before storing the turnips in a root cellar for up to four months, or in the crisper compartment of the refrigerator for a couple of weeks. Store greens in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Other Recipes for Leafy Greens
- 1 bunch turnip greens, about 6 cups chopped
- 1/4 cup coconut aminos, or nama shoyu
- 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, in oil, sliced
- 1/4 cup kalamata olives, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1/4 red onion, finely chopped
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1 tsp. dried crushed red pepper
- ground black pepper
- Mix all the marinade ingredients and a large bowl.
- Remove any hard stems from the turnip greens, then “roll” the leaves, cigar-like, before slicing into strips.
- Add the greens to the marinade and “massage” or knead them a bit until they are well coated and wilt.
- Allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes—the longer they sit the better the flavor!