Turnips are a root vegetable and were first planted in Virginia in 1609. They were used as jack-o-lanterns before pumpkins. The root section of the turnip may be eaten raw and it is not difficult to prepare. One cup of diced turnips only has 33 calories. The green tops are useful as a leafy vegetable and are a common side dish cooked with ham or bacon grease in Southern homes.
Wash the raw turnips thoroughly to remove any soil. Use a vegetable brush to scrub them underneath cool running water. This is important even if you peel the turnip.
Peel the turnip with a sharp paring knife.
Slice the turnip into thin slices to eat with assorted dips or eat them plain.
Grate the raw turnip into a medium-sized bowl with a kitchen grater. It is delicious as a salad garnish or to use as a vegetable in making slaw. Use approximately 3 cups of grated turnips, 1/3 cup each of apple cider vinegar, evaporated skim milk and sugar for the slaw dressing.
Store turnips in a plastic bag in the refrigerator or the vegetable crisper drawer. They last about two weeks in this area.