Turnips and Swedes
Selection and storage
Turnips and Swedes are closely related and come in an array of shaped and sizes, depending on age and variety. The most common type of turnip in Australia has a purple top with a white globe and white flesh. The most common type of Swede has a purple top and creamy yellow flesh. Turnips are also called neeps in Scotland or rutabaga in the US. Select turnips and Swedes with smooth skin and firm flesh with no blemishes or soft patches. Attached greens (if any) should be bright and fresh. Turnips and Swedes are best kept in the crisper section of the refrigerator.
Turnips and Swedes are available all year round but most are harvested from late spring to autumn.
Turnips are used in French, Middle Eastern and Japanese cooking. Turnips and Swedes are best peeled before being boiled, steamed, mashed, braised or roasted. Turnip leaves are edible and known as broccoletti di rapa in Italian cooking. They are best lightly cooked and served with butter or oil. Turnips and Swedes are good with cream, parsley, onions, bacon, duck, lamb, carrots, potatoes, chicken and beef stock.
Turnips and Swedes contain fibre, vitamin C, manganese, vitamin B6, folate, calcium, potassium and copper.
Types of Turnips and Swedes