Thursday, May 31, 2012

Turnip & Carrot Slaw: Discovering New Tastes


I love it when I discover a new taste, and this one had been hiding right in front of me:  raw turnips!


In my opinion, the turnip is greatly under-appreciated.  Previously, I had only eaten cooked turnips, and I’ll admit – they are not my favorite root veggie.  So imagine my delight when, in a brief crazy moment, I bit into a crispy slice of raw turnip. And loved it! I grabbed the grater and got going grating and nibbling. I found the flavor of a raw turnip is completely different than its cooked flavor. The raw turnips have a gentle heat, almost spicy, and it’s quite unexpected.


Turnips are rather pretty with their white and lavender-pink blush color.  I tend to forget they are a spring vegetable, but they are buddies with radishes.  In fact, this has been quite a season of discovery for me with eating raw turnips and roasted radishes.  Always exciting to shake things up a bit!


As I grated turnips and carrots and chopped a fragrant pile of fresh herbs, a slaw of sorts evolved.  I found it to be a refreshing change to traditional coleslaw made with cabbage and a terrific side dish for barbecue season.  Now I’m looking for more ways to enjoy turnips ... I recall munching on pickled pink turnips in Israel, so perhaps that will be the next venture?


Turnip & Carrot Slaw
Serves 8-10

2 pounds turnips (about 2 large ones)
4 medium carrots
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup mint leaves, roughly chopped
1 cup Italian parsley, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
3 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Cut any roots or rough ends off of the turnips and carrots. Slice into smaller chunks and grate by hand or in a food processor. Spoon the turnips and carrots into a large serving bowl. Add the green onions, mint leaves and parsley and gently toss.

In a small bowl or glass measuring cup, whisk the garlic, vinegar, mustard and poppy seeds together. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil and whisk until incorporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Pour the dressing over the slaw and gently toss. Taste for salt and pepper. Leave the slaw to sit for about an hour before serving to let the flavors mix. Serve chilled or room temperature.

16 comments:

  1. I had a raw turnip and raw turnip green salad for lunch today, made with mustard vinaigrette very similar to yours. Surprisingly yummy. I'll add carrots next time! I've had bad luck with turnips being overly bitter but Hakureis, the farmer's market darlings, are always reliably good.

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    1. I'll look for Hakureis at our farmer's market this weekend. I like your addition of turnip greens to your salad - our chickens usually get those but next time I'm keeping them for myself!

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  2. What a wonderful idea! We eat a lot of cabbage based slaw, but I never thought to add a turnip. I need to pick up a few at the farmers' market his weekend!

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    1. Thanks, Karen! Have fun at the market this weekend and I hope you enjoy the slaw.

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  3. Nice recipe Hannah! I've featured it on my "News of the Day" today. :)

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    1. Thank you so much, Aunt B! I'm delighted to be included in your news - how very thoughtful of you.

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  4. Raw turnips, aye? *Giving you the doubtful eyebrow* We'll just see about this... ;)

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    1. I'm smiling, Brooke! I promise they are worth a bite.

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  5. I've only had turnips once. They were cooked, and they were terrible. I made a kohlrabi slaw last summer that I really enjoyed. This recipe is really intriguing--perhaps this will bring me back to the oft-forgotten turnip.

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    1. I hope you enjoy these turnips, Brianne. I'd love to try a kohlrabi slaw - terrific idea!

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  6. I didn't experiment with turnips when I could get them (in Europe). Back in Nigeria, I'm not sure I'll find them but I'll keep an eye out. I love transforming slaws - so this appeals to me. Thanks

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    1. My pleasure, KB! I hope you come across some turnips. Slaws allow for so much creativity - always a welcome chance to try something new.

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  7. Love raw turnips. Used to eat them all when mum was getting them ready to cook on a Sunday, used to drive her mad! I also love Jicama (the Mexican version) makes a great salad with mango and mint. What a crunchtastic looking salad

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    1. Thank you, Lisa! I'm happy to hear you already have a love of turnips. Jicama is terrific, too. And with mango and mint? Sounds perfect for summer.

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  8. Being Scottish I am a quite a fan of turnip...though usually mashed with lots of butter, salt & pepper....preferably alongside some haggis!! But I do love this take on the humble turnip....great to find completely new flavours & things to do with things...thanks Hannah!

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    1. My pleasure, Mairi! I have to say, mashed turnips with butter, salt and pepper sounds incredibly comforting and delicious. I just pulled out an old Bon Appetit that focuses on Scottish recipes and I've marked quite a few to try.

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