I know what you're thinking. How could I ever think that turnips taste anything like apples?
I was looking after my 20 month old nephew, and I handed him a baby white, (Japanese hakurei) turnip, freshly harvested. Before I knew it he was reaching up to me and said "more apple". With his delicate, unweathered taste buds he had just tasted something like an apple.
When I think of the average turnip, like the larger, winter turnips, I think of a cabbage-radish-rutabega-ish flavour - Absolutely nothing like an apple. And then comes this small, round, white, tender, crispy turnip (I haven't even gotten to its flavour yet) - It's sort of sweet and oh so juicy and refreshing. Sort of sounds like an apple doesn't it?
So we thought we'd get creative and give it a (nick) name it deserves - Ground Apple - because they're an experience most people would miss if we just called them turnips.
How to eat them
To experience what I just described above you have to eat them raw. Eat them whole or slice them on a salad. If you want to cook them you will still get a juicy experience. Whether you're roasting, grilling or boiling them, don't cook them too long or they will get a bit mushy. Serve with new potatoes and butter and throw in some parsley or mint for extra flavour.
Don't forget the greens! If you buy your baby white turnips with their tender tops, you can use them raw in a salad, or if you're turning on the stove, you can wilt them like you would spinach.
Kids love them
I work at Evergreen Brickworks farmers' market every Saturday from May to November, and I've lost track of the number of times our customers have told me that these baby white turnips are one of their kids favourite things to eat!
We'll be growing them all summer. They can be found at one of our partners' food shops or farmers' markets until fall!