Mashed Turnips

Mashed Turnips

The best part about being open-minded about food is that sometimes you learn to like something new. I grew up thinking I didn’t like turnips. I’m not at all sure why I’d have thought that — my mother loved them, but I don’t remember her ever serving them at home. I guess my dad must have vetoed the idea. I don’t recall having them until the first Thanksgiving I spent with my husband’s family. Turnips are one of his favorites; practically every Thanksgiving food is. It was that special a holiday. Nothing like driving an hour through any weather to your aunt’s house every year, and being greeted with warm hugs and unconditional love to create special memories. So when I started cooking Thanksgiving dinner, it was time for me to learn to cook turnips. After all, warm hugs and unconditional love are my superpowers! I turned to my trusty copy of The Joy of Cooking for this recipe. It’s not the fanciest preparation, really quite simple, but mashed is what Aunt Pattie served, so mashed is what I made. Most of my Thanksgiving dinner is geared toward big appetites and lots of leftovers. I learned early on to scale back the turnips, as several family members aren’t as enthusiastic about them. They’ll learn, right? In the meantime, this quick and easy version (which can be made a day or two ahead) keeps finding its way to my Thanksgiving table.

Ingredients:

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1 large or 2 small turnips, about 10 oz/290 g total

½ lemon

1 teaspoon butter

smidgen cinnamon (a smidgen is about ¼ of ⅛ teaspoon)

half a smidgen nutmeg

salt

Preparation:

1.) Pare the turnips and chop into ½” to ¾” (1 to 2 cm) chunks. My turnip had some root maggots. Not a problem! They don’t go very far in. Just cut off the affected parts, and the rest will be perfectly fine. I considered myself fortunate to have harvested a big turnip from my garden in mid-November, even if a few butterfly larvae had a little snack first! If your turnips are medium to large, be sure to pare down below the dark ring. The zone between the ring and the outer peel tends to be rather bitter. With older turnips, you can often pull it off easily by hand once you have it started.

2.) Place the chunks in a saucepan, cover with water, and add salt to taste (I used about ¼ teaspoon). Bring to a boil, then reduce to a steady simmer. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes.

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3.) Strain the turnips, discard the water, and return the turnips to the pot. 

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4.) Add the butter, and mash the turnips.

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5.) Juice the lemon for about ¾ teaspoon, and add to the pot. Stir in the cinnamon and nutmeg.

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Mashed Turnips

Ingredients

1 large or 2 small turnips, about 10 oz/290 g total

½ lemon

1 teaspoon butter

smidgen cinnamon (a smidgen is about ¼ of ⅛ teaspoon)

half a smidgen nutmeg

salt

Directions

1.) Pare the turnips and chop into ½” to ¾” (1 to 2 cm) chunks. If your turnips are medium to large, be sure to pare down below the dark ring. The zone between the ring and the outer peel tends to be rather bitter. With older turnips, you can often pull it off easily by hand once you have it started.

2.) Place the chunks in a saucepan, cover with water, and add salt to taste (I used about ¼ teaspoon). Bring to a boil, then reduce to a steady simmer. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes.

3.) Strain the turnips, discard the water, and return the turnips to the pot.

4.) Add the butter, and mash the turnips.

5.) Juice the lemon for about ¾ teaspoon, and add to the pot. Stir in the cinnamon and nutmeg.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Mybackyardgarden4b says:

    Love this post! I will definitely have to try adding lemon, cinnamon and nutmeg to my mashed turnips. I usually just do them up with butter for our Thanksgiving turnip-ers 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    1. julie says:

      Thanks! Let me know how they like it!

      Like

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