You don’t know what to do with those cute white turnips you always see in your famers market? No worries, I have got you covered.
Here is an easy and quick to make vegan and gluten-free recipe for miso roasted Japanese turnips. It is flavorful, crunchy and healthy all at the same time.
Farmers 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 farmers 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 Farmers 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?
To be honest, I have never purchased Japanese Turnips before. If the lady at the stand of the Freewheel Farm hadn’t told me that they were her favorite and she roasts them all the time, I wouldn’t know what to do with them. After talking to her, I decided to give them a try. More than anything, they looked so cute and photogenic. And I am so glad I did, because now after eating a pound of them all by myself, they are my favorite vegetable.
Even though they are called turnips, I think they look more like radishes. However, they are white in color and sweeter and milder in taste. Some people also call them salad turnips or Hakurei turnips.
How to store Japanese turnips?
If you are buying them from your farmers 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 and can be served alongside with the turnips.
If you are not planning to eat them write 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. For the roots, you can place them 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 both the green parts and the turnips are not wet. When you are ready to serve, I give them a through rinse to make sure that they are free of dirt.
What to make with Japanese turnips?
Surprisingly, there are a lot of things you can do with these vegetables. First, since they are mild in taste, you can serve them raw. Simply, slice them thinly (or in small cubes) and add them in your salads.
Second, you can cut them in half and sauté them in a large skillet with a little bit of olive oil just until they turn golden brown. You can do the same thing with the green parts and serve them together. However, I recommend cooking them separately.
Third, you can do what I did and roast them. You can make a simple olive oil, salt and pepper dressing, coat them with it, and roast in a 425 degree oven for 10-12 minutes making sure to flip them hallway through the roasting process.
Last but not least, I read that some people pickle them. I have never tried this myself, but I would assume you can make simple pickling brine and store thinly sliced turnips in there for a few days until you are ready to use.
About this Miso Roasted Japanese Turnips Recipe:
For this recipe, I first coated them in a quick white miso and olive oil dressing that I made. I used miso paste because (1) I love its umami flavors and (2) as it is already salty it does a great job of seasoning dishes. Plus, it has so many health benefits. If you want to know more about the benefits and types of miso, feel free to give this Cauliflower Risotto post a read.
In terms of the green leaves, while the turnips were roasting in the oven I quickly sautéed them with a little bit of olive oil and white miso paste. Similar to spinach, they cooked pretty quickly and released some of their juices. I placed the cooked greens in a large bowl and the turnips on top. It ended up being a visually appealing side dish 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
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 12 minutes
- Total Time: 22 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings
- Category: Vegetarian Side Dish
- Cuisine: American
- 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 degrees. 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 parts and roughly chop them up. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan. Sauté the chopped 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.
- Serving Size: 4 servings