For quite a while, turnip greens have been popular in the Southern regions, with cooks saving the leaves from the turnip roots and cooking them in the same way as mustard greens or collard, together with ham or pork in most cases. Despite their naturally bitter flavor, turnip greens have the potential to become a tasty meal when properly prepared, especially when armed with the right tips.
This article will teach you how best to cook turnip greens to achieve the most flavorful results possible. You’ll also learn really helpful tips and timing guidelines to ensure that you have the perfect dish on your plate when you’re done cooking.
Turnip Nutrition Facts
Tips for Cooking Turnip Greens
When cooking turnip greens, there are some really helpful tips to keep in mind that will guarantee desirable results with your recipes:
Always clean your turnip greens properly – When working with fresh greens, it’s crucial to clean them first. Even though the greens are labeled “cleaned,” you should still rinse them to make sure, considering that sandy greens are unpleasant to eat.
Follow these steps to clean up your greens properly:
- Scrub the turnip greens gently with your fingertips while rinsing them under cold running water.
- Drain the water off the leaves by squeezing them dry inside a salad spinner, wiping them dry with new paper towels. You could also spread the greens out on fresh paper towels to air dry.
- Another option is to allow the greens to soak in a bowl or sink filled with cold water for a few minutes to remove the dirt. Before draining, give the greens a quick rinse with running water.
- Greens with tough stems should be cut off and discarded. Fold the leaves in half, then cut or pull the stem out of large leaves with stiff stems. You could also use a sharp knife to cut the stems off each leaf at the base.
- As you work, examine the leaves. Remove any bruised or wilting leaves and discard them.
Tips to get the bitter flavor out of your turnip greens – Turnip greens tend to have a bitter flavor from the plant itself. They, however, taste quite wonderful once the bitter taste has been toned down a little.
You don’t like turnip greens because they’re naturally bitter, and nothing was done to reduce the bitterness in the ones you ate. Also, note that turnips greens picked in their immature stage have a much superior flavor and are considerably more delicate. There are various techniques to make turnip greens less bitter. Consider trying one or more of the following:
- First, cook the turnips greens in ordinary water, then drain the water off and continue with the cooking procedure as described in your recipe of choice.
- Sugar can also be added to counter the bitter flavor (this is not a much-preferred method)
- Try a savory, salty broth as a cooking liquid for the turnip greens.
- Baking soda can also be added.
If you cook your turnip greens in a salty, smoky, spicy chicken broth, you’ll love the results, and this way, the flavor of the turnips is emphasized. One of the popular methods to lessen the bitterness of turnip greens is to use salt. Then, before the last 20 minutes of cooking, add around ½ teaspoon of baking soda to the cooking broth. This technique works perfectly.
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Cooking Time for Turnip Greens
The following timing guidelines are ideal for cooking turnip greens, so we advise that you pay close attention:
Cooking turnip greens in a Dutch oven over low heat
40 to 50 minutesPrint
- 4 pounds of turnip greens
- 1 pound of salt pork (or similar fatty pork)
- 1 cup of finely chopped onion
- 1½ cups of water
- ½ teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon of kosher salt, or more to taste
- One teaspoon of granulated sugar, optional
- One dash of crushed red pepper, or more to taste, optional
- Collect the necessary ingredients.
- In a sink or a big mixing bowl, thoroughly wash the greens; drain them, then wash them again. Repeat the cleaning process until no dirt is visible on the greens or the sink or container’s bottom.
- Greens with tough stems and faded leaves should be cut off and discarded. Fold in half and cut or pull the stem out of large leaves with stiff stems. Stack many leaves and cut them into 1-inch thick slices crosswise.
- Remove the excess salt from the salt pork by scraping it off or rinsing it under cold running water. The thick skin of the salt pork also has to be removed. Carefully cut between the thick skin of the salt pork and the softer fat with a sharp knife. The tough skin should be discarded, and the fat should be diced.
- Cook the salt pork in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat until it develops a crisp and browned quality. Cook the salt pork for another 2 minutes after adding the chopped onion.
- Pour in the water, wash turnip greens, black pepper, salt, sugar (if using), and crushed red pepper flakes to the salt pork and onion in the pot. It may be necessary to put the greens in batches, giving them intervals to wilt down a bit, similar to how spinach wilts down.
- Allow the greens to reach a boil in a large pot. Bring the heat to a low setting, cover the pan, and let the greens cook until they are soft; this should take about 40 to 50 minutes. Season to taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.
- Transfer the greens to a serving platter after they’re done.
- You can now enjoy your turnip greens as you please
This recipe for turnip greens yields a healthy and delicious meal option that we encourage you and your family to try. The entire cooking duration is about 95 minutes, including a prep time of 30 minutes and a cook time of 65 minutes.
If you’d like to see more ideas on cooking turnip greens for flavorful results, we recommend that you check out this video recipe.