The turnip is a member of the cabbage family, and closely related to the swede, with which it is often confused. In fact what is called a turnip in Scotland is known as a Swede in the rest of the UK. Like the swede, the English turnip is a swollen stem base rather than a true root vegetable.

There are 2 seasons: the spring turnip has a delicate off-white bulb, and the winter turnip is larger with a yellow-green bulb and pale flesh.


Store turnips in a cool dry place: spring turnips will keep for 3-4 days, winter turnips for about a week.

To cook spring turnips, peel and steam whole for 5 minutes. They can also be roasted, skin and all, or cooked the French way as part of a spring lamb stew. If they are really fresh, spring turnips can be sliced thinly or grated raw into Oriental salads.

Winter turnips taste similar to swedes and can be cooked in the same way.