Rocking the winter CSA with pan-roasted Hakurei turnips

Roasted Japanese Turnips

A native son of Perm, Gourmandistan’s CSA czar, Pavel, is unafraid of winter—especially now that he has a greenhouse. We’ve enjoyed week after week of fresh produce from our cold weather farm share this year. Somewhat understandably, it’s been a bit heavy on the root vegetables. Fortunately, many of them have been creamy, crispy Hakurei turnips, a lovely variety that’s especially delightful when small.

Japanese Turnips

Steve thinks they’re wonderful raw, sliced thin and sprinkled with a bit of sea salt, but Michelle prefers them cooked. This simple recipe from Andrea Reusing’s Cooking in the Moment is one of her favorite ways to enjoy them. It’s a good thing because Pavel, it seems, is a very good winter farmer. And we’re pretty sure the turnips will continue showing up through spring.


(adapted, only slightly, from Andrea Reusing’s Cooking in the Moment: A Year of Seasonal Recipes)

  • 1 bunch small Hakurei turnips (about 10), halved lengthwise
  • 2 tsp. vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 TB honey
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • 1/2 TB water

Toss turnips with 1 tsp. oil, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.

Combine honey, cayenne and water in a small bowl.

Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add remaining tsp. oil.  Add turnips. Sauté for about 10 minutes, turning turnips frequently, until they are golden brown.

Add honey mixture to turnips and toss them for a few minutes until glazed and tender. Add additional salt and pepper to taste.


  1. Eha

    How absolutely beautiful: methinks I have only met the much older and tireder versions of these beautiful vegetables: have to ask around – perchance seeds are available to grow oneself!! Like your use of a tad of cayenne with the honey: one lives and learns!!!!

  2. These are probably the most beautiful turnips I’ve ever seen! What I really cannot get over, though, is that you’ve a CSA that has vegetables –of any kind — in Winter. Lucky for you to have found one with a greenhouse and lucky turnips to have found their way to your kitchen. 🙂

  3. I’m with John on this–there’s a profound injustice in your access to these beautiful turnips while the rest of us shiver in the northeast with only the consolation of whatever’s in the root cellar. I’ve never heard of hakurei turnips–are they sweet? We have a regional variety called Macomber that are delicious raw. Sautéed small (would you eat any other kind?) turnips are great. Ken

  4. I was surprised at how much I like hakureis. It’s funny that you got them in your CSA basket because that’s how I’ve always gotten them (and maybe seen them at a farmer’s market) but never in a grocery store. I’ve been having them raw, sliced thinly but I’m glad to have this recipe to cook them, especially when I (shhhh) have let them go a few days and they are not quite so crisp.

    • Aren’t they nice? I am a little turnip-overloaded at present, though, I must admit. Our ‘fridge is full of all sorts of varieties. If you have any ideas, do share!

  5. Just picked up my first winter CSA box yesterday. I’ve got plenty of purple top turnips to work with. Do you think I could prepare them the same way, if I cut them into smaller chunks? I know nothing about turnips!

    • You can try it, as long as they’re small, thought they’re probably a bit stronger in taste than these are even so. To ease your way into turnips, you might first try using them as half the starch in things like mashed potatoes or potato soup.

  6. I picked up a bunch of turnips at the farmer’s market yesterday but am unsure what to do with them. I’d like something easy-as it will be part of a weeknight meal, and I’ll most likely be serving them w/flank steak. My go-to for most vegetables, especially when I am unsure as to how best to cook them, is to roast them in an high temp oven w/olive oil, salt and pepper. Do turnips do well with this method? Any other suggestions or ideas? Thanks in advance.

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  8. Pingback: Marinated Tokyo Turnip Salad « Putney Farm

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