Farmer’s markets are my happy place. Since we have been back from the islands, my husband and I made an intentional effort to spend our weekend mornings in various farmer’s markets around the city.
We love that we can get fresh produce from local farmers and support people in our community. Unfortunately, with the arrival of the winter months, most of them will go on a hiatus until April of next year.
Since these are the last few weeks, this past Sunday we spent all our morning in one of my favorite farmer’s markets in Atlanta: Grand Park Farmer’s market. With the weather cooperating, it ended up being a day of eating, shopping, and having a few laughs with local farmers.
What Are Japanese Turnips?
Also referred to as Tokyo turnips, Hakurei turnips, Asian turnips, and salad turnips, Japanese turnips are small, white, globe-shaped roots with green edible leaves that resemble radishes. Due to their mild flavor, they can be eaten raw or cooked/roasted.
If you are buying them from your farmer’s market, chances are that they will come with their green parts attached. The green parts are edible as well, so do not throw them away. They taste similar to mustard greens. You can lightly sautee them and serve with the turnips.
How To Store Tokyo Turnips?
If you are not planning to eat them right away, the best thing to do is to cut the green parts, roll them in paper towels (which keeps them dry), and keep them in the fridge.
You can place the roots (turnips) in a plastic bag and store them in your fridge as well. As long as they are kept sealed, they would be fresh up to a week.
The important thing here is to make sure that they are not wet.
When you are ready to serve, give them a thorough rinse to ensure that they are free of dirt.
What To Make With Japanese turnips? How To Cook Them?
Surprisingly, there are a lot of things you can do with these vegetables. Here are a few recipe ideas:
- Serve them raw: Since they are mild in taste, you can serve them raw. Simply slice them thinly (or in small cubes) and add them to your salad recipes.
- Lightly sautee: Cut them in half and saute in a large skillet with a little bit of olive oil just until they are softened and turned golden brown. You can sautee the green leaves as well. However, I recommend cooking them separately.
- Pickle: I have never tried pickling salad turnips bit you could make a simple pickling brine and store thinly sliced turnips in there for a few days until you are ready to use.
- Roast: Simple cut them in half and roast in the oven.
How To Roast Tokyo Turnips?
To roast Tokyo turnips:
- Preheat the oven to 425 F degrees.
- Cut the stems and set them aside. Rinse turnips under cold water until they are free of dirt.
- Place turnips on a kitchen cloth and dry them as much as you can.
- As they are drying, make a simple olive oil-based dressing. Whisk together olive oil, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
- Place the turnips in the bowl and toss until they are coated with the dressing.
- Transfer onto a baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes making sure to flip them halfway through the roasting process.
About this Miso Roasted Japanese Turnips Recipe:
If you want to take this simple roasted Japanese Turnips recipe up a notch, you can add in a few tablespoons of miso paste into the olive oil mixture. I love miso paste because of its umami flavors.
Also, since it is already pretty salty you don’t have add in a lot of additional salt into the mixture. Not to mention, miso has a lot of benefits.
If you are into cooking with miso paste, you might also like this Cauliflower Risotto recipe.
How To Cook The Tokyo Turnip Greens?
As I mentioned earlier, the green leaves of hakurei turnips are edible. They taste delicious when sauteed.
To do so, give them a good rinse and dry them as much as you can and chop into small chunks.
In a large skillet, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil. Add in the leaves and cook for 2-3 minutes or until they are wilted. If preferred, add in a teaspoon of white miso paste for additional umami flavor.
The leaves of Asian turnips are very similar to spinach leaves in that when cooked they release most of their liquid and lose their size quite a bit.
In my recipe below, while the turnips were roasting I sauteed the greens leaves. Then when it was time to serve, I placed the sauteed greens at the bottom of a large salad bowl and the miso-roasted Japanese turnips on top.
It ended up being a visually appealing vegetable side dish recipe that I know I will be serving in the years to come whenever I can get my hands on these beauties.
Miso Roasted Japanese Turnips
- 2 pounds of Japanese turnips rinsed* and cut in half – green parts reserved
- 3 tablespoons white miso paste divided
- 3 tablespoons olive oil divided
- coarse sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- Pre-heat the oven to 425 Fdegrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Whisk together the 2 tablespoons of miso paste and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a bowl.
- Spread the turnips on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle it with the miso-olive oil mixture. Give it a toss to make sure that all turnips are coated with the mixture. Place in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes making sure to rotate the turnips halfway through the baking process. When they come out of the oven, let them cool. Sprinkle them with a big pinch of black pepper. Taste for seasoning and add in some salt if necessary.
- Meanwhile, rinse the green leaves and give them a rough chop. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan. Sauté greens until they are lightly wilted, 2-3 minutes. Stir in the rest of the miso paste and make sure that the green leafs are coated with the paste. Add in ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Taste for seasoning and add in if necessary.
- Transfer the warm greens in a large salad bowl. Spread the roasted turnips on top of the greens.
- Serve immediately.
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This recipe was originally posted in December 2016. It has been updated with additional helpful information with no changes to the originally published recipe.