Turnip is a root vegetable that has been known to people since ancient times. Turnip cultivation began more than 4 thousand years ago, at about the same time when the construction of the Egyptian pyramids began. It is assumed that the homeland of the root crop was Western or Central Asia, and in antiquity it began to gain recognition in Europe. For a long time, turnip dishes were the basis of the diet of the inhabitants of Russia of modest income, but I must say that the boyars also liked the root crop very much. In the middle of the nineteenth century, turnip in the Russian Empire was gradually replaced by potatoes, and many recipes from this once very popular root vegetable were forgotten. We suggest you rediscover turnips, starting with seven interesting facts about it and three recipes for original dishes.
The heroine of Russian fairy tales and proverbs
Most of us from childhood know the tale of the turnip, which the whole family, from grandfather to mouse, tried to pull out together. Hardly anyone has not heard of the adventures of a man and a bear in the tale "Tops and Roots". There is even a fairy tale about how turnip competed with honey (who is sweeter). And according to the number of references in Russian proverbs and sayings, turnip can easily claim the status of a leader. Why is the fruit so famous? There is a version that in the chronicles of the XI-XIII centuries, the turnip crop failure in Russia was written as a great disaster. In later chronicles, it was mentioned how, thanks to the turnip, the people managed to survive the famine.
Tops are also on the table
Some types of young turnip greens can be used as an additive to dishes. According to the chefs, it is she who gives an interesting touch to traditional spring salads. By the way, Goethe believed that young turnip leaves "are very good with chestnuts."
Favorite of Henry VIII
Henry VIII is known as the King of England, who had 6 wives. As for his favorite dishes, one of his favorites was fried turnip. His Majesty also liked the salad with young turnip leaves.
Turnips are high in vitamins A, C, E, B6 and lutein, a carotenoid that is very important for eye health. A serving of cooked turnips (about 350 grams) contains about 76 mg of calcium (8% of the RDA) and 407 mg of potassium (the RDA is 4700 mg). The root vegetable also contains small amounts of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, zinc, manganese and selenium.
Natural odor neutralizer
Turnip juice is very healthy, and besides, some experts advise using the juice for those who complain of unpleasant body odor (especially in summer).
In folk medicine, turnip juice mixed with honey is often used as a cough medicine. There is an assumption that turnip helps in the treatment of asthma, reduces symptoms during an exacerbation. The root vegetable also contains a lot of vitamin K, which helps prevent heart attacks and strokes.
Since the root vegetable is rich in vitamin A, doctors advise including turnips in the diet for those who have not yet got rid of such a bad habit as smoking. The fact is that smokers are usually deficient in vitamin A, which leads to the development of inflammatory processes in the lungs, emphysema and even cancer.
3 recipes with turnips:
This root vegetable can be used to make many delicious dishes, so don't be fooled by the adage “simpler than a steamed turnip”.
Baked turnip, cured with julienne from the tongue
Recipe provided for Marie Claire by the chef of the Heritage Russian cuisine restaurant at the Hyatt Regency Moscow Petrovsky Park.
- Turnip - 2 pieces of 200 gr.
- Onions - 30 gr.
- Cream - 100 gr.
- Cheese - 30g.
- Champignon mushrooms - 100 gr.
- Boiled beef tongue - 100 gr.
- Fresh spinach
- Boil your tongue.
- Finely chop the boiled tongue together with mushrooms and onions into strips, then simmer over low heat. Pour in the cream and thicken.
- Wash and peel turnips. Cut out part of the fruit for the filling and boil until tender.
- Fill the turnips with warm julienne and garnish with fried spinach.
- Turnip - 4 pcs.
- Garlic - 4 cloves
- Grated cheese (on a coarse grater) - 2 cups
- Butter - 4 tbsp. l.
- Chicken broth - 100 ml.
- Cream (at least 15% fat) - 100 ml.
- Greens, salt and pepper - to taste
- Peel the turnips, chop thinly.
- Chop the garlic finely.
- In a deep frying pan, melt the butter over low heat. Put a layer of turnips, on top of it - a layer of cheese, pour a mixture of broth with cream (with the addition of salt and pepper to taste). Alternate layers until turnip and cheese are finished.
- When a slow boil begins, remove the pan from the heat and place in an oven preheated to 180 degrees.
- Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
- Serve hot with herbs.
Fried turnip with pears, seasoned with honey and rosemary
- Turnip - 6 pieces (small fruits weighing 100-150 gr.)
- Hard pears (Kaiser) of medium size - 2 pieces
- Vegetable oil - 1/4 cup
- Butter - 2 tbsp. l.
- Coarse salt - 1.5 tsp.
- Honey - 2 tbsp. l.
- Fresh rosemary, chopped - 1 tsp.
- Wash the turnips, peel, cut into medium cubes, do the same with pears.
- Heat the oven to 240 C, line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, mix well turnips and pears with vegetable oil and salt, place evenly on a baking sheet and send to the oven for 25-30 minutes. Stir with a spatula 1-2 times during cooking.
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, add honey and rosemary, hold over the heat for a few seconds and remove.
- Put the baked turnips and pears in a bowl and carefully season with the honey-oil mixture, mix gently and serve.
Photo: Getty Images
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