Where my gardeners at?! Or my folks who have CSA memberships and just picked up a giant box of turnip greens and have no idea what you’re supposed to do with them?
Are you fans of turnips? The white bulbous veggie is similar to a potato or parsnip in that it has a really savory, earthy flavor and does well mashed or baked. But what about the turnip greens? Ever wonder that they taste like? Ever pause to think if they were even edible?
Turnip Greens are Edible?
As someone who avidly gardens, I try my damndest to eat as waste free as possible. That often means making pesto from carrot tops, or jam from the bits of rhubarb stem I didn’t use in my tart. It’s propelled me to come up with a lot of truly bizarre creations over the years, but this turnip green salad is not one of them. This salad was bursting with flavor, and super easy to make. My husband had never tried turnip greens before (only ever eaten the roots mashed with loads of butter) and after trying them, kept exclaiming that he’s team turnip greens. You didn’t have to convince me, but I’ll take it.
Turnips like cold weather. The seeds can be planted in the garden in early spring when it’s still pretty chilly outside, and are ready for picking throughout May and June. They can be planted for a second time in a growing season later in the year in late summer for a fall harvest. These are a super easy crop if you’re a beginning gardener. If you’re growing turnips, make sure you don’t chuck the greens though, because they’re loaded with nutrients and taste pretty dang good.
What do turnip greens taste like?
Many types of turnip greens can be perceived as bitter. I used a type of turnip that can be eaten raw and is known for a much milder flavor. These could easily be interchanged for spinach or butter lettuce. If you have traditional turnip greens, try them raw. If you don’t like the taste, you can blanch them in hot water for just a second to take some of the bitterness away. Chill and then prepare this salad. They’re also good in pastas and cooked with a vegan protein like seitan or black eyed peas in a Southern style.
Turnip Green Nutrition
Wait, they’re good for you? Yas. Turnip greens are in the cruciferous veggie family. Ya know, kale, Brussels, cauliflower, all those veggies that made you turn up your nose in disgust as a kid but now are the base of all of your “healthy” meals? No? Well you’re at least down with cauliflower crust pizza, right? We can all agree on pizza.
Turnip greens have almost no calories, but have a decent amount of fiber and tons of calcium. They also have lots of vitamin A, K. C, and folate. They also contain dietary nitrate which is great for the heart. It helps reduce chances of heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure. Plus they’re rich in iron, which makes them excellent for combating anemia.
Turnip Greens Salad Recipe
As I mentioned, turnip greens are both a spring and fall veggie. I used these greens with other spring produce right from my own garden. I grow strawberries, rainbow radishes, and snap peas, and supplemented with blueberries, pistachios, and vegan feta. This is a super easy recipe because its no-cook, so simply chop and serve. I served this one with balsamic glaze and a drizzle of olive oil, but it would also be amazing with a creamy avocado and tahini drizzle.
Any berry goes really well with peas, so sub in fresh black berries or raspberries if you have them.
Supplement the greens with spinach or arugula if you don’t have enough greens to go around. Even heartier greens like kale or collards would be great in this dish.
I used radishes, but you can pop in any crunchy root veg. Carrots or golden beets sliced thinly would hit the spot.
In place of pistachios, you can opt for almonds, roasted chickpeas, or hemp hearts for protein and a crunch.
If you don’t add the dressing to this salad, it would stay good in the fridge for up to 2-3 days as part of a meal prep routine. Simply pack the dressing separately and add when you’re ready to eat.
More Recipe Ideas
As always, if you make this easy vegan spring time salad, tag me on Facebook or Instagram, and let me know how it goes! You can also check out my Pinterest page for more easy weeknight dinner inspiration.
If you liked this recipe, you might also enjoy some of my other favorite quick salads and dinner recipes to match! See some of my favorite recommendations below: