Spiralized turnip and the sweet aroma of fresh dill make for a refreshing salad. It also comes together in a few minutes and under 5 ingredients!
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Have you heard of the fun, little Russian folk tale about the Giant Turnip? It’s a Russian classic authored by Aleksei Tolstoy and EVERY Russian family knows it…by heart. We have several versions of the book in our home…board books, kids books, in poetic form, etc..
If you’re not familiar with it, here’s a rendition from Russian American Company – Random House:
The Giant Turnip
Once, not too long ago, an old man planted a turnip. The turnip grew, and grew, and grew some more until it was enormous. The old man started to pull the turnip out of the ground. He pulled and pulled, but it was just too big for one man alone. So he called his wife to help.
The old woman took hold of the old man, the old man took hold of the turnip and they pulled and pulled, but could not pull it out. The turnip was just too big. So the old woman called her granddaughter to help.
The granddaughter took hold of the old woman, the old woman took hold of the old man, the old man took hold of the turnip and they pulled and pulled. But the turnip was just too big and they could not pull it out. So the granddaughter called the dog over to help.
The dog took hold of the granddaughter, the granddaughter took hold of the old woman, the old woman took hold of the old man, the old man took hold of the turnip and they all pulled and pulled. But still they could not pull the turnip out. So the dog called the cat over to help.
The cat took hold of the dog, the dog took hold of the granddaughter, the granddaughter took hold of the old woman, the old woman took hold of the old man, the old man took hold of the turnip and they pulled and pulled. It seemed impossible, but still they could not pull it out. So the cat called the mouse over to help.
The mouse took hold of the cat, the cat took hold of the dog, the dog took hold of the granddaughter, the granddaughter took hold of the old woman, the old woman took hold of the old man, the old man took hold of the turnip. They all pulled and pulled, and pulled some more –and finally out came the turnip!
It took the help of the tiny mouse to finally pull out the turnip. The lesson is that there is value in even the smallest and least among us.
Pretty cute, eh? I love the moral of the story but you know what else I love? Turnips.
Every time I make this turnip salad – I think of this adorable folk tale and think of all the Dedushkas (grandfathers or old men as in this story) and Babushkas (grandmothers or old women) planting, tending to, and pulling large turnips with their weathered and achy hands. Such labor of love for such a simple root vegetable.
I appreciate how the Spiralizer can immediately makeover any ol’ vegetable. I used to make this salad by thinly slicing the turnips and then tossing everything together, but that was during my gloomy season without my Spiralizer. This is some serious eye candy.
Turnips and rutabagas are from the same family and though they are the lesser known vegetable here in the States, they’re pretty common in most Slavic countries. Just ask any Babushka. 🙂 They are similar to radish in texture and taste though not as spicy.
If you’ve tried them cooked and abhorred it – you must try them raw. They are divine. Just be sure you select the most youngest ones, the older the turnip, the more woody and gritty the texture becomes, hence the need to cook them at that point. But young turnips are tender and sweet – you can eat them as you would an apple.
The Purple-Top White Globe variety is the most common turnip type and can be found at most farmer’s markets during growing season (Spring and Fall). This variety is also the most easiest to grow. Some gardeners grow turnips for the green tops, though I haven’t figured out how to prepare them yet. But the chickens sure do have that figured out.
Give these turnips a nice scrub, no need to peel them if you grow them yourself or purchase them from a farmer you trust. They are typically pretty hardy and require little care, even the brownest of thumbs can grow turnips.
My Picks & Helpful Tools
Shallow Dish – to make catching those pretty spirals easier and to combine everything well.
Avocado Oil – I love the mild flavor of this oil so the turnip flavor can really stand out.
The Enormous Turnip – Okay, this one isn’t really helpful but it’s a fun read for and with the littles.
Refreshing Turnip & Dill Salad
- Remove the greens and the thin root part of the turnip. Scrub the vegetable.
- Using the Spiralizer, run the turnip through forming curls and ribbons. Alternatively, you can cut the turnip in quarters and cross-wise making thin slices.
- Season with coarse Celtic salt and gently massage with clean hands. It's best to do this in a large, shallow dish.
- Add chopped dill and fresh lemon juice. Season with fresh black pepper (optional) and drizzle a few tablespoons of avocado oil.
- Combine everything well and enjoy immediately but can be stored in refrigerator for up to a week.