Roasted Sweet Turnips with Thyme
“Japanese ‘salad’ turnips are the most sought after vegetables at my farmers’ market,” writes Deborah Madison in Vegetable Literacy. “This is an entirely different creature than the one imagined by those turnips doubters of my past. These little roots are so crisp and sweet that you can eat them raw with pleasure, simply sprinkled with sea salt.”
I completely agree with Madison in her account. However, after eating them raw with sea salt day in and day out, I was ready for a change.
Enter this simple recipe for roasted turnips. The roasting part takes some time, but the prep is quick and the recipe easy to modify based on your taste.
A few keys:
- Make sure your oven is fully preheated to 450 WITH the sheet pan preheated as well. You want those turnips to sizzle when you place them in the pan!
- Cut the coins as uniformly as possible so you get even roasting. If you have some large and some small, the small ones will cook so much faster and may burn before the large ones are finished.
- Try not to let the turnips touch in the pan. They need breathing room to roast properly.
I used thyme for a little extra flavor, but you could also use garlic, lemon thyme, rosemary, or parsley–whatever your taste buds prefer in the moment you’re cooking!
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- 1 1/2 pounds (1 quart) sweet turnips
- 1 T olive oil
- thyme leaves from 8 sprigs of thyme (about 2 Tbsp thyme leaves)
- 2 tsp sea salt, or to taste
- Place large sheet pan in oven. Preheat oven to 450 F.
- Trim turnips. Cut into 1/4 inch thick coins or half coins, depending on size of turnips. Make coins as uniform in size as possible.
- Toss the turnips with olive oil.
- Once oven is preheated and the sheet pan is very hot, carefully remove from oven.
- Spread the turnips evenly on sheet pan. Turnips should not be touching each other.
- Sprinkle salt and thyme leaves over the turnips.
- Roast for 20 minutes, until lightly browned on the bottoms. Flip turnips, then roast another 15 minutes, or until browned on both sides.
- Vary the flavor by using lemon thyme or rosemary instead of thyme, or by using chopped hardneck garlic.
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