Are You Familiar with This Tasty Vegetable?

baby turnipsHakurei turnips are a completely new vegetable for me, and I LOVE them!

I am surprised that I haven’t eaten them before since I eat and am familiar with so many different kinds of vegetables.  I am not sure how I missed out on this particular one.  Anyway, I was introduced to them last year when I was checking out a local farmer’s market in my area.

Sometimes called a Japanese turnip or salad turnip, the Hakurei turnip is very different tasting from a regular turnip. It is crisp, sweet and delicious eaten raw – a very welcome addition to any salad.

Recently, I grated them with raw carrots and mixed in a creamy curried almond dressing, and it tasted delicious, but you can just as easily eat them without any seasoning or accompaniment, and you will still thoroughly enjoy this vegetable.

So this year, my husband and I planted some in our garden. They turned out to be really easy to grow, and although I have read that they should be harvested when they are about the size of a golf ball, I have found they taste just as good when they are large. They don’t become bitter, woody or pithy as they grow.

Other reasons I love this vegetable are that you don’t have to peel the skin prior to eating them, and they store well in the refrigerator crisper for days.

This weekend I tried cooking and mashing them like a potato.  I seasoned them with a little salt, pepper, olive oil and horseradish mustard.  They tasted good, but their consistency wasn’t as nice as a potato’s in my opinion, but perhaps I didn’t cook them long enough.

While turnips have gone out of favor in recent years, they were once considered a vegetable for the European nobility. Perhaps the Hakurei turnip which was developed in Japan in the 1950’s will help to bring the turnip back into favor.

How about you?  Have you tried these turnips?  What do you think?  How do you prepare them? Do you have a favorite recipe you make for your clients?  As always, I’d love to hear from you! Feel free to post your comments below.

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  1. Mmm Haukurei Turnips are my favorite!!! I eat them like apples all summer long! I have to try growing them next summer and save myself hundreds of dollars! My favorite recipe is just slicing them thin like radishes and putting them on salads or making raw ravioli with them! YUMM!!!

    • I am so glad I tried them, Kodaik. And yes, I can see how you can eat them like apples. I like your idea of making raw ravioli with them.

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