This is for the customer at last week-end’s Seacoast Eat Local Winter Farmers’ Market, who was surprised to learn that turnips can be eaten raw — a bonus recipe for our featured winter vegetable of the week.
Root vegetable slaws or salads add a welcome change in texture to the winter table. They require a minimum of preparation — grate then dress — and can be made ahead of time. Turnips are part of the mustard family, making this a fitting pairing with the mustard vinaigrette. This basic recipe can also be made with other root vegetables that can be eaten raw, such as rutabaga, beets and kohlrabi. And, if you happen to have it, the apple adds a nice counterpoint of autumnal sweetness.
Grated Turnip and Carrot Slaw with Mustard Vinaigrette
¾ pound turnips
¾ pound carrots
1 apple (optional)
For mustard vinaigrette:
2 tablespoons cider, sherry or red wine vinegar, or lemon juice
2 shallots, finely diced
1 garlic clove, finely minced
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons creme fraiche or sour cream (optional)
⅓ cup olive oil or other vegetable oil
3 tablespoons capers, rinsed
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
2 tablespoons chopped scallions or chives
- Peel turnips, carrots and apple, and coarsely grate or cut into julienne strips, about 4 cups packed. Optional: sprinkle with salt and let sit for 30 minutes. Squeeze moisture out.
- Combine vinegar, shallots, garlic and ¼ teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Let stand 15 minutes, then vigorously whisk in mustard, creme fraiche, and oil until thick and smooth. Stir in herbs and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Toss turnip mixture with enough mustard vinaigrette to moisten.
- Marinate, refrigerated, for 1 hour before serving.
Notes: Recipe adapted from “Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone” by Deborah Madison. I used Gilfeather turnips, but any other of the wide variety of turnips available at the market can be used. With thicker skins, winter varieties of turnips usually need to be peeled. Salad or spring turnips have thinner skins, and can be used as is. If you find raw vegetables difficult to digest, they can be briefly blanched and shocked before dressing. For more recipes for raw winter vegetable salads >
Next up for December: beets, and kale. We plan to continue featuring a different winter vegetable at each SEL Winter Farmers’ Market — be on the look-out for our recipe cards!