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Maple Pecan Vinaigrette Salad with Japanese Salad Turnips

Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.” Our weekly CSA box is like that—we sometimes get unusual veggies and I get to figure out something delicious to make with them. Last week we found Japanese “salad” turnips in our box and enjoyed this maple pecan vinaigrette with the salad turnips, avocado, and the fresh salad greens that came in our box as well.

Maple Pecan Vinaigrette Salad-0064-2

Like opportunities and chocolate, when you get funny vegetables —just say yes. I marinated thinly sliced salad turnips in my favorite sweet tangy maple vinaigrette, and paired them with creamy avocado and maple-candied pecans for a deliciously different salad!
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A quick Internet search doesn’t bring up much about “salad” turnips, just that they are usually white, look like radishes and are best when eaten young, in the spring.

I found the best information about Japanese “salad” turnips in Deborah Madison’s cookbook, Vegetable Literacy. She writes that they are among the most sought after vegetables at her Santa Fe farmers’ market. She suggests slicing them into salads, enjoying them raw, to show off their surprising flavor and texture. Thanks for the idea Deborah!

white "salad" turnip for Maple Pecan Vinaigrette Salad

Maple Pecan Vinaigrette Salad with Japanese Turnips recipe notes:

  • If you don’t have Japanese “salad” turnips, no worries, substitute radishes. Make the vinaigrette dressing and enjoy it over all kinds of salads, especially one with maple-candied pecans.
  • I used my portable and un-fancy OXO hand-held slicer to thinly slice the salad turnips evenly and quickly.
  • Years of slicing fruit (like pears) on a mandoline for desserts made me comfortable slicing food without a pusher or guard, which I think gets in the way. But I cut myself often enough that I prefer to wear cut-resistant gloves when I use a mandoline slicer. We used these Victorinox gloves in the bakery.
  • The green tops of salad turnips are tender and cook quickly. Wilt and toss them with pasta, Greek olives, and feta cheese. Like this recipe.
  • Back in 2011, I posted a maple pecan vinaigrette salad with arugula, breakfast radishes, carrots and candied pecans. That post was just a recipe without photos; this update takes its place.

Make it a fabulous week–get in the kitchen and cook a delicious salad!

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Maple Pecan Vinaigrette Salad-0064-2
Print
Maple Pecan Vinaigrette
Prep Time
25 mins
Total Time
25 mins
 

Enjoy this vinaigrette dressing with all kinds of vegetable salads. Of course the maple-candied pecans especially complement the dressing. Salad serves 4-6 persons.

Course: Salad
Cuisine: Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 5 serving
Author: Letty | Letty's Kitchen
Ingredients
Vinaigrette:
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
Salad:
  • 4 Japanese salad turnips or mild radishes
  • ¼ cup pecans
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 avocado , sliced
  • 4 cups salad greens
Instructions
Vinaigrette:
  1. In a small bowl, whisk the salt and vinegar until the salt mostly dissolves. Whisk in the maple syrup and the olive oil. Season with freshly ground pepper.
Salad:
  1. Very thinly slice the salad turnips. (Use a mandoline if you have one.) Toss with the dressing and set aside.
  2. In a small skillet over medium high heat, constantly stir the pecans and the maple syrup with a wooden spoon until the maple syrup coats and dries on the nuts. Transfer to a bowl.
  3. Tear the lettuce into bite-size pieces and arrange in a serving bowl or plate. Scatter the salad turnips and avocado on top. Coarsely chop the pecans and sprinkle over the salad. Drizzle with more vinaigrette and generous grinds of black pepper.
  4. Toss the salad at the table before serving.
Recipe Notes
If you don’t have Japanese “salad” turnips, substitute radishes.

6 comments

  • Roger Henson

    Hello Letty,
    How I made it here is difficult to imagine. I am having a dinner party and was looking for a segway to the pork tenderloin main course, and here I am. I like your recipe. i used a high quality olive oil and maple syrup with your recipe and it was “perfect”. It was really pleasant to think of you again. I have spoken of you to my students. I am a Kindergarten to Fifth grade Computer Teacher now, but my culinary roots are always with me. Take care and be well. Roger Reply · 3 February, 2012

    • Hi Roger,
      Thanks for writing, very nice to hear from you and I am glad you found my blog–however you got there. The dessert life at Deer Valley is the income and the vegetarian life at home is the balance.
      All the best to you and yours…
      Letty Reply · 4 February, 2012

  • I see those little white turnips every spring at the Hollywood Farmers Market. They don’t last long (they are long gone by now) and I consider them a harbinger of spring. I just assumed they were young turnips of some regular variety. Thanks for the info. GREG Reply · 13 July, 2015

    • Letty

      Thanks Greg. I appreciate your thoughtful comments always! Reply · 13 July, 2015

  • Sally

    I have made three winner dishes from this lovely website in a row: strawberry ice cream pie, confetti lentil salad and now this. I did use daikon radishes! Thanks for the fun foods! I am dairy free so the “ice cream” pie was appreciated! Reply · 13 July, 2015

    • Letty

      Thanks Sally for the kudos! I am delighted to know the recipes work out for you! Reply · 13 July, 2015

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