Steamed Tokyo Turnips Nested in Their Greens

Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini

By Elizabeth Schneider

Published 2001

  • About

Diminutive Japanese turnips are a bittersweet, beautiful, juicy treat. Steaming brings out the best in them. Serve on a platter to accompany poached or grilled whole fish or roasted meat. Or arrange on individual plates for a pristine appetizer or warm salad course. If possible, choose turnips of equal size so they will cook in the same time. If nasturtium flowers can be had, nothing makes a more vivid finish for the bright-white globes on their dark bed.


  • 1½ to 2 pounds small Tokyo-type turnips with greens
  • About 2 tablespoons fruity olive oil
  • Crisp sea salt, preferably fleur de sel
  • Pepper


    1. Cut greens from turnip necks; reserve. Pare necks neatly. Scrub turnips with a brush under running water. Immerse greens in water, swish around, and then lift out. Repeat until no grit remains.
    2. Set turnips on rack over boiling water and arrange greens over them. Cover and steam until turnips are just barely tender (they will continue to cook off the heat). Timing varies with size and steamer, but 5 minutes is usual. Spread turnips and greens on towel to dry briefly.
    3. Cut greens into 1-inch sections, more or less. Toss with about tablespoons olive oil. Arrange in a wreath or nest on a serving plate. Slice turnips lengthwise into quarters, or halve if tiny. Toss gently with ½ tablespoon oil, or to taste. Nest in the greens. Accompany with a dish of crisp salt and a pepper mill.