turnip tops

In season: turnip tops

Today’s farm shop delivery from Growing Well is intriguing: turnip tops. Not the traditional root, which many people love to hate, but the juicy green foliage that’s abundant at this time of year (if you’ve sown in the autumn).

Alys Fowler wrote of them: “There are many ways to eat this green: Italian-style, lightly boiled, rinsed, wrung and dressed in olive oil and garlic; south American-style with bacon, sausage or ham and Cajun seasoning; southern Indian-style in a poriyal (a fried vegetable dish); northern Spanish-style with potatoes, sweet paprika and a touch of red-wine vinegar; or fermented, Asian-style, as pickles. Turnip tops appear in many cuisines for good reason: they fill a very hungry gap.”

And there other good reasons aside from their versatility and seasonality: avoiding food waste and getting the most value possible out of the food that we buy. Using vegetable tops, or eating from root to stem, is a very good habit to instate.

This recipe is seasonal, low cost, low waste, and very tasty.

Spicy turnip tops

Serves: 4


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 bags Growing Well turnip tops, washed and chopped
175ml water
pinch brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes


Drizzle olive oil into a frying pan over a medium heat.
Add the onion and cook until it is just tender (about 3 minutes).
Add half of the turnip tops and sweat them down before adding the other half.
Add water, brown sugar and chilli flakes. Add more chilli flakes to suit your personal taste.

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