A Food & Travel Blog

Seasonal Secrets – Honeyed Turnips

17/06/2011 | By

Hello my lovelies and welcome to another week of winter and winter food.  This weekly post is aimed at offering some simple recipe suggestions to the subscribers of Adelaide Food Connect weekly fresh produce boxes.  It can be a challenge to deal with the same seasonal produce week after week and I hope to help inspire with fresh ideas.  The link to this week’s box is here.

I thought we’d take a little look at the humble turnip this week.  There continues to be a degree of confusion over what (if any) difference there is between turnips and swedes – confusion which is addressed, although not resolved, in this article from the UK”s “The Guardian”.  Turnips are generally judged to be pretty boring, having a fairly bland flavour and little nutritional value, aside from their vitamin C content which is presumably largely destroyed on cooking.  The Scots love them and make one of their national dishes (mashed neeps) from them and the Romans used to slow cook them and pound them up with honey, vinegar, grapes and oil.  They are very useful for bulking up soups and casseroles and the green tops (the most nutritious part of the plant) can be cooked or used in salads.  The serving suggestion I have for them is pretty simple and takes a leaf from the Romans book, although it might also be worth sprinkling them with some ras el hanout or baharat seasoning to give them a little more interest.

Honeyed Turnips
Author: Amanda McInerney of www.lambsearsandhoney.com
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
  • 2-3 medium turnips, diced or chopped into even sized pieces
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • OR
  • Ras el hanout
  • OR
  • Baharat seasoning
  1. Cook turnips in boiling water for 3-4 minutes until just done, but still a little firm.
  2. Drain and shake pan over heat to evaporate any remaining water.
  3. Reduce heat to moderate/low, add butter and honey and stir gently to coat, continue cooking over low heat to caramelise a little.
  4. Season as desired.


My spinach suggestion for this week is a hearty soup – perfect for rainy, wintry weekends like the one we are predicted to be facing.  There is loads of nutrition in this soup (you could even bung your turnips in if necessary) and all it needs is some crusty sourdough bread to complete the meal.  The basic Lemon, Lentil and Spinach soup recipe is here, but I think I might be adding some cinnamon and cumin to it when I make it – just because I can’t help myself.

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  1. Kate

    I ate my fair share of neeps and tatties when I lived in Aberdeen for a year !

  2. Anna Johnston

    The things I learn from you Amanda, love it, but still not a fan of the turnip, could possibly be roused to try out the Romans way of doing turnip though, interesting 🙂

  3. Amanda

    Anna – I’m afraid I’m with you on the turnip. I’m no fan either.