I got lazy with the winter planting of our Back to Eden Garden. Living in Mississippi, we have a very long growing season. In fact, some things are said to be able to grow throughout the winter. One of these vegetables is turnips.
When I planted my winter garden I did it with very little detail. Essentially, I laid the seeds and walked away. While I did have a soaker hose on them, I never added any manure for fertilizer or did anything to try and keep leaf eaters off of the plants.
Growing Heirloom Bunching Onions
I also planted some Bunching Onions back in spring. I never did anything with them. They just sat there, happily growing. Since some of the suggestions for eating turnips included onion, I decided to try it with these.
One great thing about onions – I don’t think I ever saw a bug eating at them. You have to love that.
Growing Heirloom Turnips
The turnips I grew are from Baker Seed Company and are called “Ideal” Purple Top Milan Turnip. I expected them to grow larger than they did, but perhaps they are meant to stay small.
The largest turnip was roughly the size of a ping-pong ball. Put it this way: My children kept asking me what I was doing to do with the radishes.
These grew unevenly – some plants were ready and others looked like the roots had barely formed. I suspect this is due to the lack of added manure/fertilizer and that I stopped adding water to them a while ago. (It rained for a solid week and I never bothered turning the water back on).
Eating Homegrown Turnips
I have never tried turnips before. I am definitely a “stick with what I know” type of eater, so this was an adventure for me. I received a lot of great advise and recipes, but in the end I chose something simple.
Since the turnip were so small, I sliced them into about 1/4 inch slices.
I also sliced up the white parts of the onion into the same size and also a good bit of the greens of the onion into 1/2 inch lengths.
I was worried about turnip the greens. They are “known” here in the Deep South. You grow turnips for greens – period. However, I have never liked cooked greens.
I took the risk and tossed in a few leaves anyway. I was pleasantly surprised that they crisped up really nice and tasted good as well.
In the end, I chose to put about 2 tables spoons of butter into a small fry pan.
I tossed in the cut up turnips and onions as well as the greens from each.
I sprinkled on some salt, ground black pepper and garlic powder.
I sauteed them until they were golden brown, stirring and occasionally flipping the turnips so both sides of the medallions were browned.
What can I say other than – It was great! The turnips were soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. They took up the flavor of the onion and garlic powder and tasted wonderful.
While this batch was only enough for a snack, I will certainly grow them again and give them more care when I do.
Do you like our posts? Would you Sign Up for our Newsletter? We will only send you an email if we have something new to share, and never more than one email per day!
If you would like to see our video about Turnips and Onions, click the link, or watch below: