Learn some of the secrets to making boiled turnips that taste great, like how to get rid of that bitter flavor.
This is one of the MOST popular pages on our website. There are a lot of you out there wondering how in the heck to pull off making turnips that taste good. I understand completely.
There are a couple strikes going against the poor turnip, such as the bitter flavor. Also, the "watery" factor that happens when you cook them. (This isn't as big of a problem if you, for instance, bake them.)
But don't worry, we're going to teach you everything we have learned.
Please note, though, that I am NOT a turnip lover. In fact, they smell like feet and taste like dirty gym socks to me. But so many of you love the flavor, so this information is for YOU. (teeeeee-heeeeee)
So let's get started...
First and foremost, there is no need to peel the turnips first when boiling. Cut the stems to within 1/2" (or if using, boil the greens right along with the turnips). Cut off the tail.
Turnips tend to have a bitter flavor if not boiled long enough, with at least ONE water change about halfway through (sometimes two!). To solve this, add a potato to the cooking water. And yes, you can go ahead and eat that potato - the flavor matches turnips perfectly.
Submerge whole turnips (no larger than 3 inches wide) in boiling water. Adjust the heat as needed to keep the water at a simmer as they cook, covered. They will take approximately 25-30 minutes, depending on their size. Turnips can be chopped, sliced or diced at this point.
If your turnips are larger than 3 inches wide, then it is best to cut them in half or quarters so they cook faster. When cooking older and larger turnips, they tend to be more bitter than their sweet smaller sisters. So it is best to cook them uncovered so the bitter gasses can escape. It may take longer to cook uncovered turnips.
Alternatively, cube the turnips first to cut down on the cooking time by approximately 5-10 minutes.
(In either case, you may want to layer the cooked turnips between paper towels to soak up any excess water -- as mentioned, turnips are known for being a very watery vegetable).
Ready for the fun part? Use the "Turnip Flavor Matches" to create your very own recipe from scratch in minutes!
By the way, to make pureed turnips...
When turnips (and potato, if using) are tender, drain and puree in a blender for a yummy alternative to mashed potatoes.