Turnips or “nabos,” as we call them in Spanish, are usually not considered a staple for Latin dishes. But there’s where the misconception lies – this root vegetable is found in more Hispanic kitchens than you’d imagine.
The hesitance towards turnips is based on knowing what to do with them — and what not to do with them. But cooking them is not much different than cooking other root vegetables such as onions, garlic, beets, or even sweet potatoes. We all know that those never miss a beat in a Latin dish.
To help all of you gain some confidence working with turnips, we want to equip you with the correct information on how to cook them. Besides, they are filled with great health benefits, so they deserve a chance.
The following tips will get you closer to becoming a turnip MasterChef. Well, at least in your household.
Tip #1: Size Matters
The larger the turnip, the more unpleasant it will taste. Instead, opt for smooth turnips that don’t have cracks or blemishes.
Tip #2: Don’t skip the preparation part
To stay on the safe side (as it should be), you must wash your turnips in cool water or white vinegar. Once you have this step down, you’ll want to trim the top and bottom. For better results, you should peel it. Note: a peeled turnip is more versatile in the kitchen.
Tips #3: The ways to cook turnips are endless
Turnips can be your side or even entre depending on how you cook them. Best of all, there’s a variety of recipes that help guide you on the best turnip dish for whatever the occasion may be. For example, you can boil them, roast them, or even make them as turnip fries. However, be warned that because turnips can absorb quickly, their caloric intake may be high.
Below, find our favorite way of cooking (rather, baking) turnips using various methods. Thank goodness for Sommer Collier for sharing this fantastic recipe.
Baked Turnip Fries
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 30 mins
- Total Time: 45 mins
- 8 turnips
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F conventional or 400 degrees F convection if possible. Set out 1-2 large baking sheets and a small bowl. Measure the garlic salt, oregano, paprika, onion powder, and cayenne pepper into the bowl and mix well.
- Peel the turnips and cut them into strips the length of each turnip and 1/3 X 1/3 inch in width and height. Try to cut them as evenly as possible.
- Place the fries on the baking sheet and drizzle with oil. Toss to coat. Then sprinkle the seasoning mix over the fries and toss them to coat again.
- Spread the fries out evenly on the baking sheet, ensuring they don’t touch. Bake for 20 minutes. Flip the fries. Spread them out again, and bake for another 10 minutes, or until crispy. Serve warm.
AIR FRYER INSTRUCTIONS: Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees F. Work in small single-layer batches. Fry each batch for 10 minutes, shaking the basket at the 5-minute mark.
Tip #4: Shelf life
Turnips are meant to be refrigerated. Place them in a bag with openings and enjoy them for the next one to three weeks.
Tip #5: Never limit yourself with turnips
Learning your way around a turnip is a journey in itself. Embrace it and let yourself try new things in the kitchen. And, hey, if you create the next 5-Star Michelin-esque turnip dish, let us know.