Carrots and Turnips in a Hoisin Glaze

It's no secret that I'm not a big fan of turnips. I have tried them with miso; I have tried them with potatoes. I have tried them in a soup; I have tried them with a group. I do not like turnips or their greens. I do not like them Sam I Am. :) 

Yet, I belong to a CSA that grows a wide variety of turnips. I realize I will probably never love turnips, but I do feel like I could learn to at least tolerate them. Turnips are high in vitamin C and their greens are high in the same things most green leafy vegetables are high in: vitamin A, folate, vitamin C, vitamin K. 

And low and behold in our CSA box this week, we got a bunch of white baby turnips. 

Also in our box were: a bag of baby spinach (green monsters!!), baby bok choy, asparagus, hon tsai tai (similar to mustard greens), french breakfast radishes, pea vine, overwintered parsnips, rhubarb, garlic scapes (my favorite!) and potato onions. 

I read that the fresher the turnips, the less bitter tasting they can be. So, with a bunch of super fresh and small turnips in my fridge, I thought these would be perfect to experiment with finding a delicious recipe to find turnips palatable.

Thus enter Carrots and Turnips in a Hoisin Glaze. 

I found this recipe in The Meatless Gourmet by Bobbie Hinman. I love this cookbook. I've had it for years, and I love all the recipes I try in it. I love the simplicity in many of the recipes. Today's recipe is a great example of that simplicity. I was tempted to add other veggies to this dish but forced myself to keep it to just two. Any two veggies would be delicious here. If you don't have turnips, broccoli would especially be fantastic with the carrots.

The glaze is ridiculously easy. Just mix hoisin sauce with a little sugar and water. Done. You could get fancy and make your own hoisin sauce, but I find the store bought kind to be just perfect. 

Hoisin has been called Chinese barbecue sauce. However, it tends to be more salty than sweet, which is the main difference between typical American barbecue sauce. When Bobbie Hinman said that she has yet to meet a vegetable that didn't taste better with a little hoisin sauce, I knew this would be a perfect recipe to use to learn to like turnips.

I did modify this slightly to include the nutritiously rich turnips greens in the dish too. They were a fantastic addition. This dish is sweet, but not cloyingly so. As a bonus, I liked it enough to eat the left overs the next day (this is saying a lot!). While I still don't love turnips, I do love this dish. 

If you have any other turnip recipes that make you fall in love with the little root vegetable, pass them on! I'd love to try them!

Sneak Preview: Next post will be all about a mosaic table I just finished as part of my redecorating project!

Carrots and Turnips in a Hoisin Glaze
2-4 servings, 35 minutes

2 cups carrots, cut in half lengthwise and cut into 1/2 inch long pieces (or quartered baby carrots)
1 cup baby white turnips, scrubbed, ends trimmed, and cut in half
1 bunch baby white turnip greens, washed and coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 inches fresh ginger, minced
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon oil (grapeseed, canola, etc.)
  1. Prepare all the vegetables before beginning cooking since the cooking time is minimal. Mix together in a small bowl the hoisin sauce, sugar, and water. Set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ginger and garlic. Let cook for about 20 seconds, or until fragrant.
  3. Add the carrots and 2/3 cup of the hoisin sauce mixture. Cook for about 5-7 minutes. Add the turnips, turnip greens, and the rest of the sauce mixture. Cook for another 2-4 minutes. The vegetables should still be crisp and not over cooked. The greens should be vibrant in color.
  4. Serve over rice. 

Print this recipe. Inspired by The Meatless Gourmet by Bobbie Hinman.