Can you guess which vegetable I’m talking about?
It’s these gorgeous little round root veggies that look a lot like white radishes (though the different leaves are a telltale sign that they aren’t radishes).
They are a Japanese salad turnip called Hakurei turnips (navets blancs in french).
Many people have never seen them before. You won’t find them at the grocery store (at least not yet). They are mild and smooth textured and slightly sweet. No need to peel them. They are fabulous raw, eaten whole as a snack or sliced in salads. They are also incredible cooked, either pan-fried, added to stir fries, or our favourite – simply tossed with olive oil and salt and roasted in the oven until the outside is browned. Cooked this way, the inside becomes juicy and soft and perfect. Personally, I wouldn’t boil them, but I’ll admit to not being a big boiler. If you boil these and love them cooked that way, let us know!
And don’t forget about the leaves! They are also good to eat, either cut up and served in raw in a salad, or added to soup or any cooked dish right at the end. You can even add the leaves to your green smoothies for a mild tasting nutritional boost.
To store them longer in your fridge, it’s best to separate the leaves from the roots and store them each on their own. The roots can store for quite a while this way (we store some over the winter to eat ourselves).
These Japanese salad turnips have become one of the most sought after vegetables on our market stand and with restaurants. But every week, we still have customers who’ve never tried them before. If you’ve never had them, I hope this gives you a bit of inspiration!