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White Salad Turnips with Avocado and Candied Pecans

Creamy white salad turnips—have you met them? In this salad they’re one of three shining stars–creamy avocado, crunchy-sweet candied pecans and these crisp radish-shaped white salad turnips.

Their real name is Hakurei turnips, though they’re often called white salad turnips, or baby white turnips. You might also see the small globes labeled Japanese salad turnips, or Asian turnips.

Click here to save this salad to make later–on Pinterest!

Hakurei white salad turnips-they’re crunchy crisp, with mild, almost fruity flavor. They’re less starchy and have a higher moisture content than purple-top winter turnips. They’re a refreshing spring/summer vegetable.

When the new-to-me Hakurei salad turnips showed up in our weekly farm share box, I came up with this combination–thinly sliced white salad turnips on a bed of crisp greens, lightly dressed in a simple tangy-sweet vinaigrette, with sliced avocado and candied pecans.

Author Deborah Madison, in her cookbook Vegetable Literacy (affiliate link), suggests slicing white salad turnips and enjoying them raw. That’s what we’re doing in this recipe–showing off their surprising flavor and texture. Madison says “Japanese salad turnips” are one of the most sought-after vegetables at her Santa Fe farmers’ market.

At your farmer’s market or the big natural food store, when you spy a bunch of white root vegetables that look a lot like radishes, they’re most likely Hakurei salad turnips. Snatch some up and make this salad! I’m sure you’ll agree that the mellow avocado and candied pecans are stellar complements to the unusual white vegetable.

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Questions you might have about Hakurei white salad turnips:

Do I need to peel salad turnips?

No, just scrub them well and trip off the tops and bottoms.

Can you eat the green tops on the turnips?

Absolutely! At your farmer’s market or in a farm share box, chances are that Hakurei salad turnips will come with their greens attached.
Cut them off and save the greens for another use.
*** You could add them to soups that call for leafy greens, like minestrone soup.
*** I like to wilt the chopped greens and their tender stems, and then toss them with pasta, something along the lines of this penne pasta with greens, sun-dried tomatoes and toasted walnuts.

Can you cook white salad turnips?

Yes, when cooked, they’re sweet and buttery. (No need to peel. Simply cut them in half and sauté in a hot skillet until they’ve softened and have rich golden-brown edges.)
My friend Shirley cuts her salad turnips in half, greens and all, and roasts them with olive oil, salt and pepper.

What’s the best way to slice raw Hakurei salad turnips?

For evenly sliced thin vegetables, a kitchen mandoline is the excellent tool. You’ll find it handy for slicing jicama and carrots as well as white salad turnips.
Notes:
*** For thin-sliced veggies, I often use my countertop mandoline (affiliate link), although the less expensive, no frills, portable OXO hand-held slicer (affiliate link) easily slices salad turnips into thin circles.
*** I don’t like using the pusher or guard that comes with many with mandoline slicers, prefering cut-resistant gloves for better feel and accurate thin slices. I like either the No-Cry or Victorinox gloves. (Affiliate link.)

What if I can’t find “salad” turnips?

No worries, just use the spicier radishes. The flavor combo will be different, but delicious in its own way.

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PS If you make this recipe and love it, please consider leaving a blog post comment. Your comments help other readers learn more about the recipe. If you’d also give the recipe a ***** rating, I’d be delighted.

Years ago, circa 2015, I created this recipe to showcase the white salad turnips we found in our weekly farm share box. I moved the recipe to lettyskitchen.com and stopped posting on the farm share blog. I’ve separated the recipe into two blog posts, one for this salad, and a new recipe for a maple pecan vinaigrette dressing.

2 comments

  • That really does sound amazing. Reply · 6 days ago

    • Thank you Kalyn. You would love these salad turnips. I’m seeing them everywhere now. Even Whole Foods! Reply · 4 days ago

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