While the turnip is a popular vegetable in Britain, its role in the autumnal festivities has been overshadowed by the pumpkin. Take inspiration from The Field's three best turnip recipes to get this neep back to the centre of the table.
These three best turnip recipes offer inspiration for warming dishes and put a surprising twist on a classic pudding. You may be busy carving pumpkin lanterns for Halloween, but don’t forget about the turnip. Rather than setting it aglow, use it to make something delicious.
Did you know that originally Halloween lanterns were made from turnips? Find out more by reading the pumpkin: how it stole the turnip’s thunder.
BEST TURNIP RECIPES: LILLY HIGGINS’ LAMB AND VEGETABLE CASSEROLE
Ballymaloe-trained Lilly Higgins found fame through her hugely successful food blog, which has led to regular Irish national food columns and the publication of two best-selling cookbooks. One of her best turnip recipes is a killer casserole.
- 300g (101⁄2oz) carrots
- 300g (101⁄2oz) turnip
- 300g (101⁄2oz) potatoes
- 300g (101⁄2oz) sweet potatoes
- 2 onions
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 300g (101⁄2oz) stewing lamb, diced
- 300ml (1⁄2 pint) red wine
- 2 x tin chopped tomatoes
- 11⁄2 – 2 pints stock or water
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 sprig rosemary
Peel the carrots, turnip, potatoes and sweet potatoes and cut into bite-size chunks. Slice the onions.
Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy pan. Fry the onions for a few minutes before transferring to an ovenproof casserole dish or lidded pan.
Brown the lamb in the pan. Transfer this to the casserole dish.
Deglaze the pan by pouring in the wine. Next add the tomatoes, stock and herbs.
Heat until almost bubbling, then pour this tomato mixture over the lamb.
Add the carrots and turnip and place in the oven for 2 to 2 1⁄2 hours.
Next, add the potatoes and sweet potatoes. Add salt and pepper to season and return to the oven for another hour.
Serve in bowls, unaccompanied or with buttered cabbage.
BEST TURNIP RECIPES: STEAMED GOLDEN SYRUP SPONGE PUDDING
This is one of the best turnip recipes because of how unexpected it is. Have diners guess your secret ingredient!
- 250g (9oz) golden syrup, plus a further 3 tbsp for the base of the pudding
- 3 medium free-range eggs
- 250g (9oz) topped, tailed, peeled and grated turnip/swede (the purple one)
- Grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
- 150g (51⁄5oz) white rice flour
- 50g (13⁄4oz) ground almonds
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1⁄2 tsp salt
Put a full kettle of water on to boil.
Take a sheet of foil about 30cm square (12in square) and another of baking parchment the same size. Place the foil on top of the parchment. Make a pleat about 6cm (21⁄3in) wide in the middle of both layers, so that the two are pleated together and the steam can billow up into the pleat. Grease the parchment side of the lid. Set aside.
Take another length of foil, roughly 40cm (16in) long. Fold it over to make a solid strip of roughly 9cm (31⁄2in) wide and set aside.
Lightly grease a 2 litre (31⁄2 pint) pudding basin. Pour the 3tbsp of golden syrup into the basin. Set aside. Beat the remaining golden syrup and eggs for four minutes, before adding the grated turnip and lemon zest. Whisk for another minute. Finally, add the flour, ground almonds, baking powder and salt, and whisk to combine.
Pour into the basin and place the foil-and-paper over the top, foil-side up. Wrap string twice around the lip of the basin, making sure you leave no gaps where water could get through. Tie the string firmly with a knot.
Trim the parchment and foil layers so that only a couple of centimetres (approx 3⁄4in) protrudes below the string line.
Lower the basin into the saucepan with the help of your home-made length of foil, making sure the basin sits squarely on top of the foil strip.
Pour boiling water from the kettle into the pan around the pudding until the water level reaches the lip. Turn on the heat to a rolling simmer and put a lid over the saucepan.
After 1 hour and 30 minutes, remove the pudding and set aside to cool for 20 minutes.
The pudding is delicious served with crème anglaise.
BEST TURNIP RECIPES: TURNIP SOUP
This soup is one of the best turnip recipes, based on the hugely popular Neep Bree created by Shirley Spear of the much-lauded The Three Chimneys, Skye.
- 50g (13⁄4oz) butter
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 1 large turnip (swede), peeled and diced to the weight of 500g (171⁄2oz)
- 2 in peeled whole root ginger, grated
- 1 tbsp marsala wine
- 1 orange juiced and rind grated
- 1 litre (13⁄4 pint) chicken stock
- 125ml (4fl oz) full fat milk
- 125ml (4fl oz) double cream to serve
- Chopped chives or fresh coriander
Melt butter in large pan, so it does not burn. Add onions and sweat them on a low heat until soft, not brown. Add the turnip, ginger, marsala wine and some salt and pepper before putting on a lid and simmering for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Pour in the orange juice and rind and stir well. Add the stock. Bring to the boil before reducing the heat and simmering for up to an hour. Keep lid on.
Add the milk and liquidise. Check seasoning and stir cream through. Heat through before serving and sprinkle the chives or coriander to garnish.