Slice It, Dice It, Serve It: Purple Top Turnips & Rutabagas

Kieran McCourt, Weavers Way Ambler

Both are members of the Cruciferae family, along with cabbages, brussels sprouts and cauliflower.

  • Start coming into season locally in August and run through November
  • Keep well — they can be bitter when raw, but are mellow when cooked.
  • Purple top turnips can be peeled or not, depending on size. Bigger ones should be peeled.
  • When available, buy local and organic rutabagas — they are less likely to be waxed for storage.
  • Are infinitely easier to peel before cooking (I’ve ruined a number of peelers on waxed rutabagas).

Ways to Prepare and Eat Both:

  • Steamed/boiled: For fresher and younger turnips. For the paleo or keto-minded, they can be mashed as a potato alternative.
  • Roasted: Dice into chunky or medium pieces, toss with oil and roast at 400°F until tender and golden. Combine with other roots like carrots, parsnips or potatoes for balance.
  • Layer into your favorite au gratin or scalloped tuber recipe for a more nuanced, and dare I say, healthy-ish comfort food.