Baby Turnips in Caramel Butter

Baby Turnips in Caramel Butter

When I was in Portland recently, I tasted turnips for the first time without thinking they were just another form of rutabaga – in other words – old, starchy tubers.

The pickled turnips I ate at Nedd Ludd restaurant were small, tender and sweet; a revelation.

A few days later I took some home from the farmer’s market, tiny, bright garnet – colored babies that looked very much like radishes.

I cooked them simply, inspired by Julia Child. After blanching them briefly I cooked them again in a skillet until they were glazed in caramelized butter.

I liked them so much I was inspired to post the recipe on my other blog, Dinner with Julia. It’s been months since I’ve had a chance to do that…go check it out for the recipe.

Happy Birthday, Julia!

Baby Turnips in Caramel Butter

Serving Size: 2 -4 side dish servings


  • 2 bunches small turnips (about 4 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup stock or water
  • Sea salt and pepper


  1. Wash the turnips and trim the greens, if attached, and reserve for steaming or sauteeing, if desired.
  2. If the turnips are young and tender, there is no need to peel, otherwise peel larger turnips and cut into bite-sized pieces.
  3. Blanch the turnips in a small saucepan of boiling, salted water for about 5 minutes, until tender but not mushy. Drain.
  4. Melt the butter in a skillet and add the sugar. Add the turnips and stock and bring to a simmer. Cover the pan and cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Uncover and continue cooking, stirring now and then, until the turnips are coated with the glaze and nicely caramelized.
  5. Season with some sea salt and black pepper before serving.


  1. One of the best ways to eat any vegetable is caramel buter. And turnips…..I’m game for it.

  2. My mouth is watering at the memory of these.

  3. Those look divine. I am definitely going to try that caramel butter– turnips are hard to get around here.

  4. how beautiful! I love turnips, especially when they turn into vegetable candy in warm butter. That shot of them in the pan is glorious.

  5. Karen…… have made me hungry. Never imaged Turnips with Caramel butter. I emailed my wife this post to try it. Can’t wait and let you know but sure it’s going to be great.

  6. We had these little turnips just this week in a beef stew. They were delicious. I love how these hold their color.

  7. It has been a while since I stopped by your blog and I have had an enjoyable time reading your posts and looking at your beautiful photos. This looks like a great recipe to chef for clients.

    • Hi Amy – thanks for your comment. It’s been a while since I’ve found time to blog on a regular basis, so you haven’t missed too much 🙂

      Hope things are good with you!

  8. I wish I could find Turnips that look like that. Even the ones I get from the farmer’s market aren’t that pretty.

  9. Donna C. Owens says:

    What is caramelzed butter???

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