Mashed Turnips and Potatoes


The fall crop of turnips is piling up at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market. If you’ve never had them, it’s time you gave them a try.

Turnips, a member of the mustard family, are close relatives of radishes. Their flavor has a bit of a bite to it; they can be eaten raw or cooked.

It’s not necessary to peel thin-skinned young turnips, but larger turnips have thicker, tough skin that you’ll want to peel.  If you buy turnips with the leaves on them, remove the leaves before storing the root in the refrigerator vegetable drawer where they will keep for about 1 week.

Turnip greens are edible and will keep for 2-4 days. They can be sautéed or added to soups or stews. Try eating raw grated turnips in a salad, or cut into matchstick pieces for use in a stir-fry.

Turnips are very low in calories and high in fiber; 1 cup cubed has only 34 calories, 8g carbohydrate and 3g fiber, plus 30% Daily Value of Vitamin C.

For the simple recipe below turnips, potatoes, leeks and even milk can be bought at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market.

Mashed Turnips and Potatoes

2 pound turnips*, cut in 1 inch cubes
1 pound potatoes*, cut in 1 inch cubes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 leek*, white and light green parts only, finely chopped
2/3 cup milk*
salt & pepper to taste

Combine the turnips and potatoes in a steamer set above 2 inches of boiling water. Steam until tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a saucepan and add the leek and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, until leeks are tender and translucent. Add the milk to the saucepan with the leeks, bring to a simmer and remove from the heat.

Mash the potatoes and turnips, then beat in the hot milk.  Add butter, salt and pepper to taste. Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition per serving (not including butter, salt or pepper): 130 calories, 3g fat, .5g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 115mg sodium, 21g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 4g protein, 80% DV vitamin C.

Ingredients marked with an asterik (*) are available at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market. For more information about food and nutrition contact Diane Whitten at Cornell Cooperative Extension,, 885-8995.