White turnips: Produce of the Week
This week in local produce we recommend white turnips, or hakurei. With that name, it's clear these turnips didn't originate in the Midwest--they're Japanese--but they grow happily at Harmony Valley in Wisconsin, the organic farm that supplies the Wedge Community Co-op.
If turnips sound unsexy as spring veggies, Wedge produce employee Mandy Catlette is ready to change your mind. "They're extremely tender and juicy," she says. "They're like a radish with no bite." She recommends eating the turnips raw and thinly sliced on a salad or steamed until tender. The greens are also edible and take just a bit longer than spinach to cook, Catlette says. A few more recipes ideas: Japanese turnips with miso from Gourmet, or braised turnips from New York Magazine.
Beyond the basic preparation dichotomy of cooked vs. raw, Catlette also recommends making Japanese pickles. Season a sliced turnip with rice vinegar and salt and let sit in the fridge for 15 minutes. For a more involved preparation, the blog The Japanese Food Report has a pickle recipe in which you could add or substitute white turnips.
A bunch of white turnips is $2.49 at the Wedge. The turnips should be available for the next two to three weeks.
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