Caramelized and glazed with a delicious dijon based sauce, these roasted turnips are perfect example of a humble ingredient taken to a whole other level for a delicious side. It’s simple and easy, ready in 30 minutes.
What inspired these roasted turnips?
My gramps had major swag when it came to cooking. He was all about game meats and vegetables. I recall very few grocery shopping trips for my gramps besides our trips to fancy specialty stores we couldn’t afford, but served the purpose of showing me there was a much bigger world out there. When it came to his vegetables he was fond of cooking them with simple techniques and tricking them out with different flavor hacks. Beets, turnips, rutabagas, etc. were all in play and ate them all the time going as far back as I could remember.
For those who say things like “I don’t eat turnips” or “turnips are food for old people” this roasted turnips recipe is for you. It’s an oldie but goodie that’s been leveled up in a major way.
What are the best turnips for this recipe?
Turnips come in all sizes and colors and there are a multitude of names. For more information check-out this breakdown of turnip types. Purple Top turnips are most common and the ones you’ll likely see in the grocery store, followed perhaps by the all-white, Tokyo turnips aka “baby turnips” which I used in this recipe. I chose them primarily for their size and availability at my local farmer’s market. Baby turnips are the perfect size for roasting quickly and still getting that intense flavor. Other varieties of turnips will work, but to save time and ensure a more robust flavor, choose the smallest ones and cut them into smaller sizes for cooking if needed.
Should I peel them or can I leave skin on?
Baby turnips don’t need peeling since their skin is straight “tenderoni” to quote the great king of R&B, Bobby Brown. As long as you crop the tops and that long tail you’re good to go.
What do turnips taste like?
Turnips are members of the mustards family so they have somewhat of a spicy, pungent and peppery taste to them. This gets smoothed out when cooked. Roasting is especially effective as a fair amount of caramelization occurs and intensifies the natural sugars present. Baby turnips will be on the sweeter side relative to other turnips.
How Do You Flavor Turnips?
To modernize these roasted turnips I used a killer dijon-balsamic vinegar based marinade. The dijon has some sweetness and complexity to it that adds depth to the dish. The vinegar adds acidity, balance, and a bit of aging characteristic similar to what you’d get from wine. The beauty of this marinade is its simplicity and the fact that for the most part you’re likely to have the ingredients on hand. Fair warning, make plenty of the sauce, cause you’ll want to use it on more things and you should!
What are alternatives to turnips?
Turnips often get confused with other root vegetables like radishes and rutabagas. This actually is a good thing in this case as they are interchangeable in this recipe if preference or availability dictate going a different direction than turnips. Same principles apply, i.e. remember smaller is best! Note they will taste differently, but you’ll enjoy either. Trust me! The one caution if you’re not using baby turnips then be sure to peel the vegetables.
What are health benefits of turnips?
If the flavor appeal and convenience of cooking baby turnips aren’t enough to hook you, then perhaps I can entice you with the added health benefits. Looks good, taste good, feel good, right! Turnips are high fiber and low calorie meaning you feel full longer when you eat them making it. More fiber also means you stay regular helping you pass food and toxins out of your body! Lastly, because they’re high in potassium, turnips help decrease blood pressure.
Baby Turnips Cooking Tips
- Roasted turnips are better than steamed or boiled. Roasting means better taste and better texture.
- If you buy turnips with the tops, save the greens. Turnips greens are amazing and much tastier than kale or spinach.
- Don’t crowd the baking sheet. Leave ample room for each individual piece so they can breathe and caramelize. Crowding them leads to steaming essentially.
- Marinade can be made ahead of time
making roasted turnips
If you make these delicious roasted turnips please come back and leave me a comment below with your feedback. Definitely take a photo of the dish and be sure to tag #foodfidelity so that I can see them.
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- 8 Baby turnips halved
- 3 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp Olive oil
- 1 tbsp Honey
- 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Pepper
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees F
- Add all ingredients except turnips to a mixing bowl and mix well.
- Add turnips and toss in the marinade
- Place turnips on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
- Bake on the middle rack for 30 minutes, flipping the turnips after 20 minutes.
- Brush turnips with additional glaze the last 5 minutes of cooking.
Feel free to use brown sugar or maple as a substitute for honey. If using brown sugar you’ll have to taste and adjust depending on desired sweetness.