Calling all turnip greens!!
Turnips, in general, get a bad wrap. If the bulbs are allowed to grow really big they can be woody in texture and off-putting. If the greens aren’t well prepared they can be bitter or mushy.
This flavorful turnip greens with bacon recipe is here to reintroduce you to a part of the turnip that can be both nourishing and delicious. Like other dark green vegetables, turnip greens are a great real food ingredient, rich in calcium, iron, magnesium, and other vital micronutrients your body needs to reach peak performance.
We often just see the root bulb of the turnip at the store, but if you ever shop your local farmer’s market or farm stand, you’ll probably see their beautiful green tops still attached. Generously, this cruciferous vegetable offers both parts as a nutritiously edible ingredient, and I highly encourage you to use them both if given the option!
If the leaves are attached, cut them off at home and store them separately. Each part can be placed in a plastic bag, or container, and kept in the coldest part of the refrigerator for one to two weeks.
The leaves are a great source of vitamin A, C and K, folate, fiber, and calcium. Turnips also provide phytonutrients called indoles, which may help reduce your risk of certain cancers.
I know what you’re thinking; “you’re painting a good picture, but aren’t turnip greens bitter?” Well, yes, they certainly can be and keep in mind that the bitterness is a sign that they are good for our digestive system. With this recipe comes a couple of methods that can greatly reduce the bitter taste: salt and spice!
Turnip greens with bacon! Isn’t everything better with bacon? Cooking the bacon in the pan first and using the bacon grease to then cook the greens means there is salt already in place for the greens to cook in, and the salt helps to draw out the bitterness. This recipe also uses fresh ginger and red pepper flakes, both strong and “spicy” flavors that help neutralize any overpowering bitter taste.
Different textures, tastes and nutrients come together beautifully in this dish. It’s our hope that this turnip greens with bacon recipe starts a new love for you and your family with this super food.Print
- 1/2 lb. organic bacon, chopped
- 1 Tbsp. fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- Dash of red pepper flakes
- 1 large bunch turnip greens (from about 3 small/medium turnips), chopped
- 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
- Heat a large saute pan, or cast iron skillet, over med-high to high heat.
- Add chopped bacon and cook until crisp, stirring occasionally (5 – 7 minutes).
- Remove bacon bites and set aside on a paper towel, leaving bacon grease in the pan.
- Turn down heat to medium/medium-high and add the ginger, tossing until fragrant (1 minute).
- Add the red pepper flakes, stirring with the ginger.
- Add the turnip greens and cook until wilted and tender.
- Toss in pecans and bacon and gently mix to combine.
Read more about our Love for Turnips!