Roasted Turnips With Dill and Caraway

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The things we do for love. Like, grow turnips! I’ve mentioned before that I grew up thinking I didn’t like them. Thing is, it was a “didn’t like” that was based on precisely zero experience. Not the kind of thing a sciency person such as I likes to admit, maybe, but I was just a kid, after all. Never mind how many years into my adulthood it took me to change my opinion. But my Chief Taste Tester loves turnips, so I started growing and cooking them for him. In the process, I learned to love them! Root crops are a great way to continue enjoying your garden well into fall and winter.

I started eating turnips when I started going to Thanksgiving dinner at my husband’s Aunt Patty’s house. I couldn’t very well skip them while insisting my kids take a “No Thank You Helping,” could I? Come to think of it, I didn’t grow up with “No Thank You Helpings,” either. Not until I got to Camp Onanda, that is, when I was eleven. We ate in a big dining hall, at a table big enough for the whole cabin. The counselors required us to take at least a taste of everything, which they called a “No Thank You Helping.” The only time they ever insisted we finish anything was on Thursdays — prune day. You couldn’t leave the breakfast table until you had eaten all your prunes. The rest of the time, a single bite was adequate. My mom and dad were of the “Eat everything on your plate, there are starving children in Africa.” philosophy. Which is how our dog wound up eating so many vegetables. Either “No Thank You Helpings” were new since my mom had gone to Onanda when she was a kid, or she didn’t like the idea as much as I did. Anyway, we raised our kids with the single bite requirement instead of the clean plate club. 

I was pleasantly surprised with my first bite of turnips that Thanksgiving; I didn’t hate them at all. In fact, they were pretty good. Each subsequent year, I liked them a little bit more. And once I started branching out from plain mashed turnips, my enjoyment of them increased in leaps and bounds. Enough so that last summer, they really grew on me. Well, when I say “grew on me,” I mean they literally grew in my garden. Turns out they’re really easy to grow, too! 

This recipe is a quick and easy way to prepare turnips. Delicious, too!

Ingredients: 

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9 oz. (255 g) turnips, about 2 small. Young ones are preferable.

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

1 small sprig fresh dill

¼ teaspoon caraway seeds

⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

⅛ teaspoon salt

Preparation: 

1.) Preheat the oven to 400º F (204º C) and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment or foil. If your turnips are very young, they don’t need peeling. If they’re a bit older, be sure to peel down past the dark line to remove the bitter outer flesh. Cut the turnips in half, then cut the halves into thin wedges. 

I realized after peeling one of mine that they were young enough to not need it (I was a little slow on the uptake that day.) The pic on the right is from an older turnip I used in another recipe. I’m including it so you can see what I mean about the line. 

 

2.) Mince the dill for 1 teaspoon.

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3.) Pile the turnip wedges in the middle of the sheet pan. Drizzle with the olive oil and toss to coat. I like to use my (clean) bare hands for this. It’s easy, avoids dirtying another dish, and olive oil is good for your skin. Spread the turnips evenly across the pan. Sprinkle with the salt, pepper, caraway seeds, and minced dill.

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4.) Bake for 20 minutes, turning halfway through for even browning.

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Roasted Turnips With Dill and Caraway

Ingredients

9 oz. (255 g) turnips, about 2 small. Young ones are preferable.

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

1 small sprig fresh dill

¼ teaspoon caraway seeds

⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

⅛ teaspoon salt

Directions

1.) Preheat the oven to 400º F (204º C) and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment or foil. If your turnips are very young, they don’t need peeling. If they’re a bit older, be sure to peel down past the dark line to remove the bitter outer flesh. Cut the turnips in half, then cut the halves into thin wedges. 

2.) Mince the dill for 1 teaspoon.

3.) Pile the turnip wedges in the middle of the sheet pan. Drizzle with the olive oil and toss to coat. Spread the turnips evenly across the pan. Sprinkle with the salt, pepper, caraway seeds, and minced dill.

4.) Bake for 20 minutes, turning halfway through for even browning.

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