Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Turnip Greens

Before I started growing Turnips, I never gave their green tops a second thought. I planted several rows last Fall and after an early hard frost I thought I had lost the crop. Thankfully I didn't dig them up. I left them in the ground and to my delight, they greened up vigorously in the early Spring as soon as the snow melted. When the rest of the garden is nothing but rows of sown seeds waiting to grow you learn to use what is available at the moment, and in the early Spring this has been Turnip Greens for me. I am now finally able to harvest things like Radicchio, Arugula, Mustard Greens, and Chinese Cabbage; but for many weeks it was nothing but Turnip Greens. While I am enjoying my new level of variety, I have discovered the joys of these simple and often ridiculed greens.

Turnip Greens are loaded with vitamins A, C, and B complex, as well as a good source of the minerals potassium, magnesium, and calcium.

These green are wonderful in soups. I have used them several times in Miso Soup. I also like to steam them. Throw a pile of chopped Turnip Greens into the steamer and layer on top of them some sliced Carrot, Celery, and then some nice fish such as Tilapia or Lemon Sole. Sprinkle on some Red Pepper flakes or diced JalapeƱo if you like a bit of heat. Let this steam for about ten minutes, or until the fish is just cooked. Serve with a squeeze of Lemon. Fantastic!

... and many thanks to my buddy Ronnie who sent me a link to a unique variety of Turnip, Seven Top, that doesn't grow a harvest-able root. Instead it concentrates all of it's energy on a great tasting top! I think I'm going to give this a try next season.

Turnip: Seven Top

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