I’ve never really liked turnips. My mom used to boil them and mash them. I remember avoiding them and I remember my dad complaining every time she served turnips. He still ate them but would make a comment about how his grandparents used the turnips on their farm to feed the pigs. To this day when I think of turnips I think of pig food. The December issue of Everyday Food (apparently my favorite issue so far) included an article about turnips being in season. Seriously if you see that issue of Everyday Food at the store do yourself a favor and buy a copy. You can thank me later.

This recipe turned me into a fan of turnips. I’m even considering serving roasted turnips at our Christmas dinner.

Roasted Turnips

(adapted from Everyday Food, December 2010 issue)

  • 2 lbs turnips (about 4 medium) peeled and cut into 1/2-inch wedges
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • coarse salt and ground pepper

Preheat oven to 475 degrees F. On a rimmed baking sheet, combine turnips, cayenne, nutmeg, and oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss well to coat.

Arrange turnips in a single layer and roast until golden on both sides, 25 to 30 minutes, flipping halfway through.

I learned that the smaller turnips are less “pungent” than the large waxed turnips that my mom used to cook. Look for small to medium turnips that are purple or white in color.