Steamed Turnips with their Greens

Turnips are a strong contender to be my spirit vegetable. …and like a lot of our produce, they don’t need a lot of help to taste amazing. Steaming the turnips lightly softens and sweetens them so that they almost melt in your mouth. Try this super-simple preparation with a bunch of our turnips, and I dare you not to love it!

[The following recipe is based on Mark Bittman’s general recipe for steamed greens, found in How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.]


1 Bunch of Turnips
1 Tablespoon of Butter
2 Teaspoons of Lemon Juice


1) Wash the turnips and green thoroughly under cold water. Then cut the greens off the top of the turnips. Like so:

Separated Turnips

2) Set up a steamer, and put the turnips (the root part) into the steamer basket.

3) Cover your steamer, turn up the heat on the turnips, and let your steamer start steaming. You want the roots to steam for about 2 minutes by themselves. Meanwhile, chop the greens into strip perhaps 1 inch wide.

4) Once the roots have been steaming for about 2 minutes, add the chopped greens on top of them. Recover the steamer and steam everything together for approximately another 2 minutes.

5) Turn off the heat, and transfer the greens only into a bowl. (I use a set of tongs for this.) Add the butter and lemon juice, and toss.

6) Artfully arrange the white roots on top of the greens … and eat ’em! A lovely side dish for one or two people.

4 thoughts on “Steamed Turnips with their Greens”

  1. Excellent recipe! Just returned from my first-ever trip to the CSA. Cooked up the turnips and ate them all myself! Delicious. Thanks…

  2. Hard to believe, but this is the first time I ever ate turnips! Steaming them was easy. They were very tasty. Thanks for sharing the recipe with a turnip newbie!

  3. I love roasting these baby turnips. Toss the roots with oil, salt & pepper, roast at 350* for 15-20 minutes until just tender. Serve with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Save the greens for another day!


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