Turnips are a root vegetable commonly associated with potatoes or beets, but their closest relatives are radishes and arugula — all members of the mustard family in the genus Brassica. Both the bulbous white and purple taproot and the leafy greens are edible. The turnips is thought to have originated in eastern Asia, but it was widely cultivated around the Roman Empire and is now grown and eaten in temperate zones around the world.

Turnips are prepared in Asia in much the same way as radishes. Often pickled, they are also steamed, added to stir-fries or grated or chopped raw into a salad. The young flavorful greens are stir-fried, as well, or added to soups. Some varieties produce greens particularly suited for pickling, such as Nozawana below, which is a popular snack for skiers in Northern Japan.

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