Turnips have a unique taste that combines both sweet and bitter flavors. They belong to the Brassica family along with radishes, cabbage, and mustard greens. They can be eaten raw or cooked and are very nutritious. They also have a crunchy texture that can be refreshing.
Young turnips are sweet and crunchy and have a similar flavor to carrots. As they mature, their flavor can change to a more bitter or spicy one. This can depend on how they are seasoned and how long they are cooked.
The leaves of a turnip are also edible and can be enjoyed in salads or sandwiches. They are crispy and spicy and can be used as a substitute for lettuce in many recipes. Larger turnips have a stronger taste and can be used in stews, roasts, or other hearty dishes. Their flavor stands up well to other strong ingredients, such as meat.
If you find that a turnip has a bitter flavor, try boiling it before eating. You can also add a little sugar or salt to the water before boiling to help remove the bitterness. If you boil them, be sure to drain the water often and add fresh saltwater as needed.
Pickled turnips have a mixture of salty, peppery, and tangy flavors that can be very satisfying. They are great for adding a punch of savory flavor to any dish. You can also make a casserole with turnips and other vegetables that are mashed up and tossed in with meat.